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Summer School - Learning to Unlearn Decolonially - Disobeying, Delinking and Relinking, 2022, Utrecht University, Netherlands

Publish Date: Feb 23, 2022

Deadline: May 23, 2022

Event Dates: from Jun 21, 2022 12:00 to Jul 07, 2022 12:00

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 knowledge, 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.

*this course can be made accessible for hard of hearing and deaf people upon request.

Course Directors:

  • Walter Mignolo (Argentina/US)
  • Rolando Vázquez (Mexico/The Netherlands)


  • Fabian Barba (Ecuador)
  • Aminata Cairo (The Netherlands/US)
  • Jean Casimir (Haiti)
  • Jeannette Ehlers (Denmark)
  • Charles Esche (The Netherlands)
  • Rosalba Icaza (Mexico/The Netherlands)
  • Patricia Kaersenhout (The Netherlands/Suriname)
  • Aldo Ramos (Mexico/The Netherlands)
  • Ovidiu Tichindeleanu (Romania)
  • Madina Tlostanova (Circassia/Sweden)
  • Catherine Walsh (Ecuador/US)
  • Gloria Wekker (The Netherlands/Suriname)
  • Yolande Zola Zoli van der Heide (The Netherlands/South Africa)

Target audience

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

Aim of the course

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

Study load

Two sessions of one and a half hours in the afternoons. Reading preparation for the course will also be required.

All sessions will take place every weekday from 22nd June to 8th July from 14:00-15:30 and 17:00-18:30 (CEST)

The schedule of the sessions will be available soon.

The expected preparatory reading is:

Mignolo, Walter and Walsh, Catherine (2018) On Decoloniality, Duke University Press.

Vazquez, Rolando (2020) Vistas of Modernity, Decolonial Aesthesis and the End of the Contemporary, Mondriaan Fund. 

There will be possible extra activities at Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands.


Extra application information

The applications will be assessed on a rolling basis. All applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered. 

There are a number of complete and partial grants available for those participants that cannot afford the course fee. 

If you wish to apply for one, please state your situation in the motivation letter when applying to the course. Grants will be selected taking into account the individual economic circumstance of every participant. 

If you have any question, please write an email to Teresa Cos Rebollo: summerschool@vanabbemuseum.nl

The van Abbemuseum can help students find accommodation during the duration of the school, please contact Teresa Cos Rebollo: summerschool@vanabbemuseum.nl 

Please be aware that affordable accommodation is difficult to find in Eindhoven, so we recommend to start arranging it as soon as possible.

The profit made from the Decolonial Summer School will be used to fund indigenous and decolonial initiatives.

We hope that the 13th edition of the School will happen in presence. If the school has to move online due to COVID restrictions the fee will be reduced to 500 euros and you will receive a refund. 

For this course you are required to upload the following documents when applying:

Motivation Letter


More information

Teresa Cos Rebollo | E: summerschool@vanabbemuseum.nl


Registration deadline: 23 May 2022

ETCS credits




Course Level

Master or PhD

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

Further Official Information

Link to Original

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