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SESP Equity Book Club: Leigh Patel

May 4, 2022
Leigh Patel
Leigh Patel argues that higher education should be decolonized through study and struggle.

Professor Leigh Patel will discuss her latest book No Study Without Struggle: Confronting Settler Colonialism in Higher Education during the final SESP Equity Book Club Series lecture of the 2021-22 academic year.

Patel, a professor of education and the inaugural associate dean for equity and justice at the University of Pittsburgh, will speak at 3:30 p.m. on May 19 in Annenberg Hall, 2120 Campus Drive, Room GO2.

An interdisciplinary researcher, educator, and writer, Patel’s research focuses on the ways schooling can deliver inequities and how education can be used as a potential vehicle for transformation. She works extensively with societally marginalized youth and teacher activists.

  • Read her writing on education, learning, and society and other topics.
  • Find her on Twitter at @lipatel.

Her book argues that higher education should be decolonized through study and struggle. "We have absolutely stunning teachers because they are also learners, and students who teach as they continue to learn," she has said. "However, much of education, and glaringly so in higher education, has been shaped by mythologies of who is smart, intelligent, deserving, and more recently in higher education, what to do to bring in money."

Patel received the June Jordan Award for scholarly leadership and poetic bravery in social critique and is a national board member of Education for Liberation, an organization dedicated to transformative education for and by youth of color. She is the author of Youth Held at the Border and Decolonizing Educational Research.

Prior to coming to Pittsburgh, Patel was a professor at the University of California Riverside Graduate School of Education, and a faculty member at Boston College.

Since receiving her doctorate in curriculum and instruction with emphases in sociology of education and literacy from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Patel has become a consistent voice in educational policymaking and policy analysis.

The SESP Equity Book Club Series began in 2019 and features speakers who have studied and written about justice or equity issues. Previous invited authors and books include Isabel Wilkerson (Caste); Bryan Brayboy (Carceral Colonialisms); Eve Ewing (Ghosts in the Schoolyard); Anthony Jack (The Privileged Poor); Bettina Love (We Want to Do More Than Survive); and Sally Nuamah (How Girls Achieve.)