Avoiding the Housekeeping Trap: Challenges and Opportunities in a Decolonizing Project at the University of East Anglia, UK

Yao Wang, Thinh Ngoc Pham, Suzanne Henry, Surya Simon, Claire Hynes, Ulrike Theuerkauf

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter is based on the authors’ reflections about the challenges and opportunities that they encountered while working on a new teaching toolkit for the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, UK, between February 2022 and May 2023. The chapter’s central arguments deal with the so-called ‘institutional housekeeping trap’, which refers to the risk that certain professional activities are relegated to the realm of unpaid or otherwise unrecognized labor. As the authors’ experience working on the UEA toolkit shows, close collaboration between different members of the university and ongoing criticality about the relevance of positionality are crucial to ensure that decolonization efforts are not reduced to the racialized, gendered and often little-rewarded realm of institutional housekeeping.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDecolonizing Educational Knowledge
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Perspectives and Contestations
EditorsAnn E. Lopez, Herveen Singh
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-55688-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-55687-6, 978-3-031-55690-6
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2024

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