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Department 1

Africana Studies


I re-appropriate the image of a space-time warp and its notion of disorientation to argue that colonialism created a warp in Trinidad’s educational system. Through an analysis of school violence and the wider network of structural violence in which it is steeped, I focus on three outmoded aspects as evidence of this warp--hierarchies, curricula and disciplinary technologies--by using data (interviews, documents and observations) from a longitudinal case study at a secondary school in Trinidad. Colonialism was about exclusion, alienation, violence, control and order, and this functionalism persists today; I therefore contend that hierarchies, curricula and disciplinary technologies are all enforcers of these tenets of (neo)colonialism in Trinidad’s schools. I conclude with some nascent thoughts on a Systemic Restorative Praxis (SRP) model as a way of de-stabilizing the warp, by stitching together literature/approaches from systems thinking, restorative justice and Freirean notions of praxis. SRP implies that colonialism (and this modern-day warp) has rendered much psychic and material damage, and that any intervention to address structural violence has to be systemic and iterative in scope and process, include healing, be participatory, and foster an ethic of horizontalization in human relations.





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