You can now register for the 2017 edition of the Decolonial Summer School!   SSlogo zonder schaduw

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Impressions from the decolonial summer course 2014

In 2010 the decolonial summercourse Middelburg was hosted for the first time at the University College Roosevelt (University of Utrecht) in cooperation with the Centre for Global Studies and the Humanities (Duke University). Opening the university to life’s diversity and other knowledges, Walter Mignolo and Rolando Vázquez have been bringing together students, activists, scholars and artists in the academic setting. Addressing the danger of the single story in the Modern/Colonial world order, the course invites to learn about the decolonial option. Participants and lecturers collectively explore creative alternatives to global (un)justice by critically engaging local histories to challenge global designs.

Situating ourselves in the town of Middelburg, we begin a dialogue that addresses global social justice, connecting at the same time the legacy of European slave trade and the Jewish holocaust. The question then becomes how to make visible the pluriversality of experiences subsumed under the hegemonic design of the modern/colonial world order? We speak of ethics and tolerance while learning to listen and engage with one another with respect.

A video impression of the previous editions of the summer school can be watched here.
For an interview with course organizers Walter Mignolo and Rolando Vázquez, please go here.

2017: What does it Mean to Decolonize II, On Education, Nature and Conviviality


8th Annual Decolonial Summer School
27 June 2017 – 13 July 2017 (2.5 weeks)
University College Roosevelt (Middelburg, The Netherlands)
Credits: Utrecht University Certificate (6 ECTS)

The 8th Middelburg Decolonial Summer School, 2017, will explore decolonial horizons of living in harmony (Sumak Kawsay) and conviviality. To do so it is necessary to unlearn dominant structures of knowledge and assumptions taken for granted about life, politics, nature, race and sexuality. The 2017 Summer School will be an exercise in shifting the geographies of knowing, sensing and believing. We will focus on three themes: eating, healing and learning. Intellectuals from the humanities and social sciences as well as practicing artists will contribute to the conversation.

Being aware of learning through bodily senses opens up relations towards living in plenitude that challenge the Western divide between “nature” and “culture”. “Nature”, like race and sex, is one of three pillars in Western narratives to secure the position of Man, the over representation of the Human as Sylvia Wynter’ convincingly argued. The separation of the human species from earth has had enormous consequences. The environmental crisis is the most visible. The commodification of food and health follow suit.

Together we will explore forms of relationality that make us all kin with the living earth (Pachamama, Mother Earth, Gaia). Our task would be to generate understanding and praxis based on relationality rather than on objectivity and separation. To do so, it is necessary to delink from the hegemonic narrative of ‘nature’ as resource at the service of growth and development, in order to relink with earth and the regeneration of life.

The decolonial tasks of delinking and relating cannot be individually achieved, they need to be done in conviviality. Conviviality requires building communal togetherness and engaging in decolonial conversations capable of changing the terms of the modern/colonial conversations (e.g., from beliefs and theories and education to imposed common sense).

To pursue our goals, we will focus on three themes: eating, healing and learning. Intellectuals from the humanities and social sciences as well as practicing artists will contribute to the conversation. The overall issue to be explored will be:
a) What is the rhetoric of modernity in the spheres of food, education and health that keep us fixed on what to eat, what to learn and how to heal;
b) What is the hidden logic of coloniality;
c) and what is decolonial horizon.
Decolonially we are interested in mutual understanding of how colonial wounds (humiliations, disdain, dehumanization) are inflicted through food, health and education in order to engage in decolonial healing for living in plenitude.



Deadline for registration: 01 April 2017

If you have questions please email us at decoloniality[at]


.           CRITICAL PHOTOGRAPHY        Rolando Vázquez        Jean_a_Boston_1            Gloria Wekker
.                     Walter Mignolo                   Rolando Vázquez      Jean Casimir            Gloria Wekker

.                                      Maria Lugones        madina      Patricia Kaersenhout

.                                        Maria Lugones                       Madina Tlostanova         Patricia Kaersenhout

.   Jeannette Ehlers    Ovidiu Tichindeleanu    Alanna Lockward        Fabián Barba    Rosalba
.Jeannette Ehlers    Ovidiu Tichindeleanu       Alanna Lockward               Fabián Barba                Rosalba Icaza

                                                                          UCR         Centre for Humanities

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4 thoughts on “

  1. Alan Brandão

    Hi everyone!
    First, congratulations for this fundamental iniciative. Here in Brazil we live the bleeding scars of the european slavery and colonialism in our social structure on the everyday actions of the repressive forces and in the lack of relevants social politics for the minorities (not to mention the cutural invisibility and prejudice of the indian and african influence on the formation of our country). I Wanna know if this is a presencial course or an online course, like an Distance education course? Thanks for the attention and let’s move foward to build a world less intolerant!

    1. decolonialsummerschool Post author

      Hi Alan, thanks for getting in touch! The course will be held in Middelburg, the Netherlands and is attendance-based. However, we will also try to make some material available online after the course — you can already find interviews and audio recordings of some of last year’s sessions in the ‘archive‘ section.

  2. charlottejanehaynes

    Is there somewhere that explains what documents are needed for the application? When I go to the Utrecht University page, I can’t seem to find what I will need for the application before I go through the process of submitting it. Thank you!

    1. decolonialsummerschool Post author

      You’ll be asked to provide some information about your educational background, but most importantly to explain your motivation to join the course (you can do this in the application form itself, you don’t have to upload a separate document). No further documents are needed.

      If you have any further questions about the application process, feel free to contact the course organizers directly at decoloniality[at]


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