Eindhoven, Netherlands

Learning to Unlearn Decolonially - Disobeying, Delinking and Relinking

when 21 June 2022 - 7 July 2022
language English
duration 3 weeks
credits 6 EC
fee EUR 950

Coloniality of knowledge, aesthetics and spirituality are areas of experience managed and controlled by major Western institutions. The combination of institutions and languages secured the belief in the universality of Western knowledge, aesthetics, beliefs and its peculiar 'rational' world-view. It also drove the appropriation and destitution of non-western knowledges, aesthesis and spiritualities. The seminar will be devoted to explore decoloniality as a praxis of reconstitution, of re-existence and the re-encounter with the communal. Learning to unlearn is a step towards disobedient delinking and the beginning of a walk towards re-making and re-learning ourselves in communal and decolonial paths of re-existence.

The foundational institutions of the coloniality of knowing and subjective modulations were the University and the Church, two medieval institutions remodeled during the Renaissance. By the seventeenth century the creation of the Museum was added to the previous two and complemented the Church and the University in two venues: collecting remains of the European past and extracting and looting objects from the colonies to enrich the European universality. These three institutions are still at work today, maintaining the colonial basis of knowing, sensing and believing. Euro/Westerncentrism was mounted on these three pillars and articulated by six modern European imperial languages (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French, German, English).

The combination of institutions and languages secured the belief in the universality of Western knowledge, aesthetics, beliefs and its peculiar 'rational' worldview. It also drove the appropriation and destitution, the classification and devaluation of non-western knowledges, aesthesis and spiritualities. The invention of barbarians, primitives, terrorists, the underdeveloped and the like, were and are classifications enacting the colonial difference in the constant process of destitution. Together, these structures lead the overarching hegemony of the Western world sense (cosmo-vivencia) and its administration and regulation of knowledge. They control understanding through epistemology and hermeneutics; the senses through aesthetics and spirituality through theology.

This 13th edition of the Middelburg Decolonial Summer School, now called the Maria Lugones Decolonial Summer School, will be devoted to explore these phenomena through decoloniality as a praxis epistemic and aesthetic reconstitution of re-existence and the re-encounter with the communal.

Learning to unlearn what is taken for granted is a priority. Asking when, why and how the modern theological, scientific, historical, artistic, esthetical version of reality came into being is the first step to relearn, to reconstitute what was destituted. Reconstitution is a fundamental horizon and praxis for decolonial communal living thinking.

Disobedience, unlearning and reconstitution have been the general orientation of our Summer School through the years. Learning to unlearn is a step towards disobedient delinking and the beginning of a walk towards re-making and re-learning ourselves in communal and decolonial paths of re-existence.

Course leader

Prof. Walter Mignolo & Dr. Rolando Vázquez

Target group

Designed for graduate students (Ph.D. and M.A.) from all disciplinary backgrounds. The course is also open to interested advanced undegraduate students.

Course aim

The course will make the students acquainted with the most current debates around decolonial critical thought, in particular in relation to the communal.

Fee info

EUR 950: Course + course materials