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Parallel 7

Decolonizing an Ableist Pedagogy through Theology of Disability and Ecofeminist Studies


Miss Isabella NOVSIMA

PhD Student

Drew University, NJ, USA

Intellectualism is one of the products of Global North academia. They work with white logocentric culture as the standard of productivity. This intellectualism is not only an ableist culture but also a colonial culture. Decolonial Feminism has been scrutinizing white feminism from the Global North by coining the term civilization feminism. Francoise Verges, in A Decolonial Feminism, mentioned that “The civilizing feminist mission is clear: European women are crusading against sexist discrimination and symbols of submission that persist outside of Western European societies; they present themselves as an army that protects their continent from the invasion of ideas, practices, and men and women threatening their gains.” With a similar method of decolonial feminism, I argue that western academia has been perpetuating an ableist pedagogy through its logocentric intellectualism.


As an Indonesian disability theologian, I contend that there is a tendency from the Global North Academia and activists to be the savior and the protector of People with disabilities in Indonesia. This results from the colonial thought of “the good pedagogy” through the logocentric standard and a belief that “the good product” of teaching and advocacy is only measured based on the Global North standard of life. Consequently, the Asian way of knowing has been deemed a lesser standard (or a submissive embodiment) in academia; therefore needs to be civilized by the Global North intellectualism.  In this paper, I propose that the theology of disability with the intersection of decolonial ecofeminist studies shall be a robust resource toward a decolonial pedagogy. In decolonial pedagogy, intellectualism is questioned and even scrutinized. Instead of logocentric intellectualism, the interdependency of materiality is preferred as the pedagogy's method and purpose.



Isabella Novsima, PhD Student at Drew University, NJ, USA

A member of the Faculty Development Plan of Jakarta Theological Seminary, Indonesia

Research focuses on the Theology of Disabilities in its intersection with Feminism


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