Call for paper: Education and coloniality in the Nordics


Call for paper:  Education and coloniality in the Nordics

Deadline for abstract submission: 1 February 2023

Calls to decolonize education and academia have gained momentum on a global scale over the past years. Decolonization of education is simultaneously a political imperative and demand, a series of epistemological questions, and a question of material structures related to justice, access and representation. Decolonization further involves a radical democratization of epistemology through deconstruction of the unquestioned hegemony of dominant, Eurocentric forms of knowledge production. Current research upholds that the Nordic countries, in spite of their contextual differences, are prone to amnesia, denials, and sanctioned ignorance in relation to their colonial histories and complicities.

With this special issue, the aim is to advance critical discussions about what coloniality, decoloniality and decolonization might mean in relation to education in the Nordic region. Education has been proven to reproduce coloniality, epistemic violence and racism. Education also represents potential avenues towards alternatives to current global crises of social inequality, racism and (un)sustainability. We invite theoretical, empirical and creative contributions that focus on all levels of education, from early childhood to higher education. Contributions may focus on a particular Nordic country, Sápmi, or take a comparative or inter-Nordic perspective. As educational projects that radically challenge the ongoing workings of coloniality are often found outside formal educational institutions, we encourage contributions that highlight alternative forms of educational institutions, practices or pedagogy. Examples of contributions could be, but are not limited to:

  • Papers that address strategies, practices, initiatives and philosophies related to decolonizing education and/or pedagogy as a discipline
  • Critical and creative explorations of what projects for education and/or pedagogy post- and decolonial perspectives enable
  • Analyses of how coloniality, racism and epistemic violence is reproduced and/or resisted in and through education
  • Critical analyses of the limitations of modern/colonial understandings of childhood and children («childism»), including imaginative explorations of alternative perspectives
  • Contributions that highlight and explore approaches to education and/or pedagogy embedded in for-example anti-racist, anti-colonial, environmentalist or indigenous social/ movements
  • Empirical or theoretical contributions that highlight Sámi perspectives on and in education, Sámi pedagogy, and/or the significance of post- and decolonial approaches to education in Sámi contexts
  • Critical analyses of social studies and history education, and didactical terms such as historical empathy, historical awareness and critical thinking in light of coloniality
  • Explorations of colonial approaches to understanding power-relations in educational digitalization, as well as the decolonizing potential of digitalization
  • Contributions that criticizes, advances or extends understandings of coloniality in relation to education and/or pedagogy

Important dates

  • Deadline for abstracts: February 1st, 2023
  • Response on abstracts: February 15th, 2023
  • Deadline for first full paper submission: August 1, 2023
  • Publication date: March 1st, 2024

Practical information

  • Abstracts are to be submitted to the journal’s platform here.
  • Abstracts should be app. 200 words.
  • Mark your submission with the prefix COL_
  • Contact Journal manager if you have questions concerning the platform:

The editors of this special issue are:  

Mari Kristine Jore, Eirik Brazier, Kristin Gregers Eriksen, Kristin Loftsdóttir, Pia Mikander and Louise Sund


Editorial information

Mari Kristine Jore is a university lecturer in teacher education at the Department of Sociology and Social Work, University of Agder. With a background in Sociology and Cultural Studies, her research focuses on how narratives of Norway and the West is created in the social studies subject in lower secondary school. Her research and teaching interests include minorities, migration, and postcolonial perspectives on education.

Eirik Brazier is an associate professor in History at the Faculty Humanities, Sports and Educational Science, University of Southeast Norway. He holds a Ph.D. in History from the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. His fields of interest include British and European colonial history, Scandinavia and particularly Norway during the First World War, and the intelligence history of Scandinavia before 1945.

Kristin Gregers Eriksen is an associate professor in social studies education at the University of South-Eastern Norway. Her research is within decolonial approaches to knowledge and education, anti-racism, and Sámi knowledges and perspectives in education. She is especially interested in the connections between social justice and sustainable futures.

Kristín Loftsdóttir is a professor of Anthropology at the University of Iceland.  Her research has focused on Nordic exceptionalism, postcolonialism, whiteness, gender, racism, mobility/migration and crisis. She is currently the PI for the research project Creating Europe through Racialized Mobilities.

Pia Mikander is a university lecturer in history and social studies didactics at the University of Helsinki. Since her PhD in 2016, Westerners and others in Finnish school textbooks, her research interests have focused on questions around democracy, active citizenship, norms and power in relation to education, particularly within the subject of social studies.

Louise Sund is associate professor at Örebro University. Her research draws on postcolonial and decolonial theoretical resources to examine productive pedagogical tensions in the intersections between environmental and sustainability education and global citizenship education. Her research investigates the possibilities and challenges teachers face when taking up ethically and politically charged issues in a classroom.