Netherlands, Utrecht

The Communal, the Museum and the End of the Contemporary: Decolonial Summer School

online course
when 23 June 2020 - 8 July 2020
language English
duration 3 weeks
credits 6 EC
fee EUR 900

Please note that this is an online course.

This summer school course will focus on the communal and modern/colonial histories, looking in particular at the role of museums and other cultural institutions and their (potential) impact on society. The school will analyse the conceptual foundation of “modern” cultural institutions questioning the idea of “modernity’ through a decolonial perspective. We will explore the closing of Western modernity through the end of the contemporary and the decolonial opening toward the communal.

The 11th edition of the former Middelburg Decolonial Summer School will be located at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. The summer school will focus on the communal and modern/colonial histories, looking in particular at the role of museums and other cultural institutions and their (potential) impact on society. The school will analyse the conceptual foundation of “modern” cultural institutions questioning the idea of “modernity’ through a decolonial perspective. We will explore the closing of Western modernity through the end of the contemporary and the decolonial opening toward the communal. The Van Abbemuseum has a collection of modern and contemporary art and tries to apply decolonial and ‘demodern’ thinking to its activities, and the course will make use of the museum as a site for critical inquiry as well as looking at other cultural institutions contexts.

The core of the Middelburg Decolonial School has been the search for paths of delinking, healing and re-existence. This year the focus will be on the closing of modernity and especially the place that the museum and other cultural institutions have in that process. It will examine how the Colonial Matrix of Power and modern politics of time sustain the status quo and what needs to change. We will foreground the end of the contemporary and the openings that the communal offers towards a decolonial horizon of meaning.

The communal is grounded on respect for the living, on cooperation and care to live together in plenitude beyond the human-animal and the human-earth divides. We will address the challenges to engage in recovering the freedom of decolonial joy and decolonial love— and with it regenerate the communal praxis of living.

Course leader

Walter Mignolo & Rolando Vazquez

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. (Students from University College Roosevelt in Middelburg can obtain full credits with the writing of a final research paper).

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 900: Course + course materials
EUR 502: Housing through: a third party

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