Rage, loss and other footpaths: Subjectification, decolonisation and transformation in higher education

Anne Becker


The need to transform higher education in South Africa is indisputable. This article explores how the recent #mustfall protests, as an Event, could inform transformation. An Event follows three phases: reframing (shattering the frame through which we understand reality), the fall (the loss of a primordial unity which is a retroactive illusion) and enlightenment (subjectivity itself as an eventuality). In conclusion, I pose that a shift towards who comes into presence in higher education and not (a pre-determined) what comes into presence, could provide possible footpaths to decolonialisation and transformation. Through processes of subjectification, the subject(s) of higher education could reframe historic ontological othering and actively take part in the process(es) of becoming and being human in higher education in (post)colonial South Africa.


decolonisation; higher education; #mustfall protests; ontological othering; subjectification; transformation

Full Text:


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/the.v2i0.23

Submitted: 10 May 2017
Published: 22 August 2017

African Online Scientific Information Systems (Pty) Ltd t/a AOSIS
Reg No: 2002/002017/07
RSA Tel: 086 1000 381
International Tel: +27 21 975 2602
15 Oxford Street, Durbanville, Cape Town, 7550, South Africa
publishing(AT)aosis.co.za replace (AT) with @

All articles published in this journal are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license, unless otherwise stated.
Website design & content: ©2018 AOSIS (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved. No unauthorised duplication allowed.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get specific, domain-collection newsletters detailing the latest CPD courses, scholarly research and call-for-papers in your field.


Transformation in Higher Education    |    ISSN: 2415-0991 (PRINT)    |    ISSN: 2519-5638 (ONLINE)