Decolonizing Education : A Critical Discourse Analysis of Post-Secondary Humanities Textbooks

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kimberly C. Harper (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site:
Brent. R. Henze

Abstract: This dissertation examines nine post-secondary humanities textbooks published between 2001 and 2011 using an approach that includes both qualitative and quantitative methodology to analyze the written and visual content of humanities textbooks. This dissertation engages in current debates that address bias in humanities textbooks and contributes to these debates by using a multi-disciplinary approach that combines methods from the field of technical writing and from recent work in postcolonial critical theory functional analysis and discourse analysis. The goal of the research is to determine whether post-secondary humanities textbooks marginalize African cultures. The textbooks are analyzed utilizing Gloria Luzon's Primary and Secondary Genres Theory Shahnil Saaid and Zaiha Ahmad's Communicative Purpose of a Preface Theory Leo Lentz and Henk Pander Maat's Functional Analysis Theory to identify genre conventions associated with textbooks prefaces. Critical discourse analysis theory developed by Teun van Dijk and Normal Fairclough provides a framework for analyzing how the language used in textbooks presents a particular view of groups and cultures outside the Western tradition. 

Additional Information

Date: 2012
Technical communication, Rhetoric, Education, Critical discourse analysis, Histography, Narratives
Racism in textbooks

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