Social Emancipation Summer School

Universidad de la Tierra (Unitierra) and Center for Convivial Research and Autonomy (CCRA) are proud to invite you to attend a seminar series bringing together the critical theories of postdevelopment, decoloniality, and comunalidad.

The well-established critique of postdevelopment is engaged with producing alternatives to development; moving from critique to imagining and creating a world beyond the dominant development paradigm. It confronts today’s challenge to learn from relational ways of living- those that have the potential for a transition towards a postcapitalist, postpatriarchal, pro-liberation society. The decoloniality school of thought will bring to the course a long view of the historical configuration of the modern colonial order. It explores how the Eurocentric paradigm of development and modernity is inextricably bound to coloniality, to the process of denigration, and destruction of other worlds. Finally, the Indigenous philosophy of comunalidad is rooted in the experience of Oaxacan communities. It will bring to the discussion a praxis of living and thinking which the world has resisted for over 500 years of colonialism and more recently another 60 years of development: the radical concept that it is possible to think and live beyond the parameters of the Eurocentric, modern, colonial order.

The course is a unique opportunity to be part of the very first inter-exchange between these three paths of critical thought, and to begin to build bridges through dialogue, practice, and conviviality. It is an invitation to join a shared dialogue engaged in critical thinking and action based on communal, locally-rooted societies in movement, and the search for convivial tools for community regeneration. It is an opportunity to acknowledge the uncertainty we face in this moment- an uncertainty created by the fact that old rationalities are obsolete- and to be part of the conversation seeking to understand and define new ways of thinking and doing.

Over the ten days of the course, participants will come together with powerful and influential key intellectuals and activists from each school of thought. Each day, participants will be engaged in seminars, discussions, workshops, tours, and more within Unitierra and around Oaxaca. Participants will be invited to join in active community and social programming run through the Universidad. There will also be plenty of time for participants to explore the city and culture of Oaxaca, and members of Unitierra will be available to assist participants in exploring any areas of interest. Upon completion of the course, participants will receive a diploma from the prestigious Universidad Iberoamericana.

We hope that you choose to join us this August as we explore and discover pathways to buen vivir!

When is the summer school?

August 5th – August 14th, 2018

Where is the school taking place?

Universidad de la Tierra (Unitierra) is located in the city of Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico. All programming will take place within the Universidad or the surrounding city and areas.

Who are the speakers?

Valiana Aguilar, Manolo Callahan, Arturo Escobar*, Gustavo Esteva, Stefano Harney, Rosalva Aída Hernández, Xochitl Leyva Solano, Mauricio González, Diana Itzu Gutiérrez, Rosalba Icaza, Jaime Luna, Walter Mignolo*, Fred Moten, Shanon Speed and Rolando Vázquez.

*Participating via videoconference.

What are the registration fees and deadlines?

Regular Registration: USD $1,000

Non-refundable registration deposit: USD $500 – to be paid upon registration.

June 31st, 11:59pm: deadline to pay the remaining balance of USD $ 500. No refunds will be made after this date.

Contribution to Unitierra’s projects: 250.00, 500.00, 750.00, 1,000.00. Unitierra’s supporters will get a gift, including signed books of the participating authors.

June 31st, 11:59pm: deadline to pay the contributions.

What is included?

1. A fee of Dls. 1,000, includes accommodation for nine nights; all meals during the length of the program; transportation to course events or attractions; and entrance fees (museums, etc.) included in the course programming.

2. Voluntary contributions to UniTierra, to fund its projects, for 250, 500, 750 and 1,000. You could define which projects you want to support when you are in Oaxaca.

Please note, costs of air/bus/other travel to and from Oaxaca is not included.

Where are the proceeds going?

The registration fee will be used to cover the associated costs of the course, including accommodation, food, transportation, and speaker fees and expenses. The remaining proceeds will be used to support a number of community, social, ecological, and revitalization programs facilitated by Unitierra-all of which can be seen as examples of postdevelopment, decolonialism and comunalidad. For more information on Unitierra’s programming, please visit:

What can I expect?

The program will include three to five hours each day of conversation and dialogue and a break for a shared meal. This school is not based on traditional lectures, but rather a communal discussion between participants. Participants will help to shape the direction of the day through open interaction with and questions for the key speakers, all of whom are both prominent scholars and activists. Furthermore, the course offers participants a unique opportunity to combine theoretical dialogue with real practice. Throughout the course, participants will be invited to attend a number of trips to visit and engage with Unitierra’s programming around Oaxaca, as well as learning opportunities at various community spaces in the city. Through both dialogue and direct action, this school offers participants the experience to discover what we can do in the face of today’s current political, ecological, and social challenges.

A full schedule will be announced in June 2018.

How do I register?

Register here.

How do I pay?

Payment can be made via e-transfer. Unitierra’s banking information can be found here:

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