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Diversify and decolonise your reading lists


This guide is here to support colleagues diversify and decolonise reading lists.

We will show you how you can evaluate your current reading list and provide practical tips and ideas for finding resources to amplify minoritized voices and narratives within your lists.

The resource is accompanied by a reading list with a resource base that supports an inclusive learning experience with resources selected to encourage teaching colleagues to find out more about diversification and decolonisation and how this applies to reading lists.

We encourage you to:

  • take a step back and look with a critical eye upon your reading list.
  • take practical steps to help diversify and decolonise reading lists. 
  • involve students in co-curation of reading lists
  • reflect on what is canon within your field and whether content is missing

Let’s look afresh with possibility at reading lists!  As bell hooks wrote (1994, p,12) "The classroom remains the most radical space of possibility in the academy." 

How to use the guide

We recommend working through the guide section by section. Each section contains links to resources and actions to help you develop your reading list. There will be action points in the guide which signal an activity and they will be marked like this:


What is covered in the guide?

The guide covers why we need to diversify and decolonise reading lists, where to begin, how to get students involved, resources to help diversify and decolonise and Library action. The work is also supported by a reading list with resources to support Colleges and Departments.

What are the limitations to this guide?

This guide is focused on reading lists as a mechanism for change in relation to the decolonisation of the curriculum and the promotion of anti-racist culture. A list can be diversified with the amplification of minoritized voices and narratives, international writers and research being built into lists, and questioning the automatic centralisation of western knowledge.

This is one step on the road to decolonising the curriculum but other actions are needed, and working with the University’s Academic Development & Diversity service is a way to begin these conversations and innovate practice.



This guide has been created by Hallam Library.