Monthly Archives: October 2015

Decolonizing the academy

Two day graduate and faculty seminar led by Ramón Grosfoguel (UC-Berkeley) and one day conference

24-26 February 2016

The University of Edinburgh’s Global Development Academy in collaboration with the Centre for Contemporary Latin American Studies is developing a series of activities and initiatives that engage with questions of decolonization and decoloniality. We have two main aims in this regard. The first is to support through our teaching, research and networking activities individuals, communities and social movements engaged in decolonial struggles, that are seeking to address the legacies of colonialism and ongoing modes of coloniality. Indigenous, Afro-descended and other decolonial movements are calling the development project into question in a myriad of ways that have implications for our work and our global development focus. The second is to contribute to efforts to decolonize the westernized academy. While traditional universities can be sites of radical thought, they have generally struggled to embrace and accommodate non-western thought and worldviews, functioning instead on a basis of epistemic ignorance. It is essential therefore that our curricula and research programmes create spaces for theoretical and methodological approaches that are relevant for indigenous, Afro-descended and colonized populations. We also need to seek ways to disrupt the modernist divisions between arts and sciences reflected in our institutional structures and take up the intellectual agendas being advanced by decolonial scholars. Scholarship identified with the Modernity/Coloniality/Decoloniality (MCD) paradigm locates the start of modernity not with the Enlightenment but with the conquest of America in the 15th century, and recognizes the inseparability of the capitalist world system from the dynamics of colonialism. Modernity and coloniality are therefore mutually constituted. Coloniality did however create the conditions for border thinking and interculturality and for the decentring of Eurocentric thought. Despite the modes of epistemic violence wrought by colonial practices, decolonial thought persists and provides important resources for dealing with the legacies of the past and the challenges of the present.

In February 2016, we will be joined by prominent decolonial scholar Ramón Grosfoguel of UC-Berkeley, who will run a two day postgraduate and faculty course. He will also participate as the keynote speaker at a one-day conference focused on questions of decolonization and decoloniality. Both events are free of charge, but registration and acceptance of a place are required.

24 and 25 February 2016

Decolonizing Post-Colonial Studies and the Paradigms of Political Economy

Led by Ramón Grosfoguel, UC-Berkeley

This two-day course will discuss the cartography of power and the structures of knowledge of the world-system we have inhabited since the 16th century. It will decolonize the paradigms of political-economy and post-colonial studies. Finally, it will discuss transmodernity as an alternative that moves beyond the world-system of today. It will be of interest to scholars and students already working with questions of decoloniality/decolonization, or for those who wish to gain an introduction to this field of knowledge. It will be of particular use to lecturers and researchers seeking to decolonize their classrooms, curricula, teaching practice, research and writing. Participants accepted into the course will be sent a readings package in advance.

The course will cover five key modules:

FIRST: The Four Genocides/Epistemicides of the 16th Century, the Westernized University and Modern/Colonial Epistemology

SECOND: Epistemic Racism/Sexism: Decolonizing the Western Concept of Universalism

THIRD: What is racism?: The Fanonian Zone of Being and Zone of Non-Being

FOURTH: Decolonizing Paradigms of Political-Economy

FIFTH: Transmodernity and Decolonization of the world-system

Places are free but limited, so registration is required. The names of people who seek to register after all available places are taken will be added to a waitlist. If you would to apply for a place, please fill in the application form and send to: by 9 December 2015.

The application form can be found here:

Friday 26 February 2016

One-day conference: Decolonizing the academy, University of Edinburgh

Keynote speaker: Ramón Grosfoguel, UC- Berkeley

Call for papers

We welcome panel and abstract submissions for papers engaging with questions of decolonization/decoloniality. We welcome scholars working in and on any geographical region, but we are particularly interested in work on the Americas and Africa and dialogues between them. Possible themes include:

Decolonial social movements and political projects

Decolonial, non-capitalist and revolutionary subjectivities, epistemologies, ontologies, philosophies and theologies

Past and present forms of slavery and demands for slavery reparations

Epistemic violence

Dimensions of the colonial matrix of power, including gender and sexuality, institutions, knowledge and authority

Theoretical engagements with decolonial thinkers

Border thinking and non-linear forms of knowledge


The politics of buen vivir

Power beyond the state

Meanings, discourses and representations of blackness/indigeneity

The Africa diaspora, the Black Atlantic, the Black Pacific


Decentring Eurocentrism

Interactions between MCD and postcolonial studies

Questions of cultural and political citizenship

Alternative and non-modern spatialities, temporalities, cartographies and chronologies

Please send paper and panel proposals to Julie Cupples ( using the application form.

The application form can be found here:

Deadline for submission: 9 December 2015

For further information about these events, please contact Julie Cupples (