Curriculum, Replacement, and Settler Futurity


  • Eve Tuck
  • Rubén A. Gaztambide-Fernández Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronot


This paper describes the ways in which “curriculum” has been and continues to be a project of settler colonialism, premised on white settler supremacy. We examine a number of ways in which this has manifested and how various attempts at interrupting this not only get sidelined, but reappropriated in ways that re-inscribe settler colonialism and settler futurity through strategies of replacement.  We use the character of Natty Bumppo from James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales as an allegory for the ways in which white settlers seeks to absorb indigenous peoples, people of color and their knowledges, only to turn themselves into the “native.” While various interventions have tried to dislodge the aims of replacement, the settler colonial curricular project of replacement is relentless in its recuperation and absorption of those critiques, effectively replacing those who offered the critiques with (now) more informed white bodies.

Author Biography

Rubén A. Gaztambide-Fernández, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronot

Rubén A. Gaztambide-Fernández is an Associate Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. He teaches courses in curriculum theory, cultural studies, and the arts in education. His book The Best of the Best: Becoming Elite at an American Boarding School (2009, Harvard University Press) is based on two years of ethnographic research at an elite boarding school in the United States. His current research focuses on the experiences of young artists attending urban arts high schools in Canada and the United States. He is also the Principal Investigator of Proyecto Latin@, a participatory action research project with Latin@ youth in Toronto. His theoretical work focuses on the relationship between creativity, decolonization, and solidarity. He is particularly interested in the pedagogical and creative possibilities that arise from the social and cultural dynamics of urban centers.





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