'A look inside': critical issues of nationality and location within creative industries academia

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The global cultural economy is characterised by intersections, interdependences, fissures and faultlines (De Beukelaer & Spence 2019). The teaching within the global cultural economy with its inter-disciplinary fields of the creative industries, cultural policy and arts management are likewise characterised by reflective intersections and faultlines (Chatterjee & Barber 2021, Cuyler et al. 2020, Durrer 2020, Gu & O’Connor 2019). Greater reflexivity about where the academy’s position, specifically the academy of the Global North, within power dynamics of location and nationality, in addition to race, gender, and class, merit greater consideration. There is much discussion of the importance of decolonising the curriculum but there is need to discuss measures within the academy to ensure representation and agency within the global academy beyond the nodes of the Global North (Gukurume & Maringira 2020). This hegemonic power is also evident and transmuted into curricula and policy paradigms (Chatterjee & Barber 2021). The global re-invigoration of the Black Lives Matter movement has further exposed the embedded intersectional and interstitial issues of race, power and coloniality within the academy. My own research (De Beukelaer & Spence 2019, Spence 2019, Spence 2018) and teaching experience supports this. In 2019, I was asked to teach a film studies course at the University of the West Indies and given a draft curriculum. All the texts referred to Hollywood and independent American cinema and all the films highlighted with American or British (actually English). This was a curriculum for Caribbean students in a Caribbean university in a majority black country in 2019. Likewise, the curriculum received in my Queen’s curriculum reflected a diversity of work, but all located and produced within the Global North. The issue of decolonizing of the curriculum required a cosmopolitan approach to film studies. The issue therefore is beyond teaching the global cultural economy to a white student body’ (Heard 1999) but teaching global cultural economy to the world’s students in a manner that acknowledges the past and the injustices of previous curriculum to effect a more cosmopolitan understanding of, not only film, but identity. In my position paper, I conduct an auto-ethnography of my teaching experience within UK Higher Education and within Jamaican Higher Education – which allows for an exploration of the dynamics of decolonisation within the academy and how it falls short. Inspired by the Belluigi & Thondlana (2022) paper on belonging within the South African academy and the continuing legacy of apartheid, I seek to discuss utilising my own experience. The legacy of colonialism continues to cumulatively characterise the cultural economy and too its teaching. The network of Arts Management & Cultural Policy programs and those within the academic asks for more than national issues of sex, race and gender.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2022
Event72nd International Communications Conference: One World, One Network - Paris, France
Duration: 26 May 202229 May 2022


Conference72nd International Communications Conference
Abbreviated titleICA 2022
Internet address


  • Multiculturalism
  • decolonisation
  • Creative industries
  • creative pedagogies


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