Course Description

This course is offered through the Center of Study and Investigation for Global Dialogues, in Tarragona, Spain, in collaboration with Berkeley Study Abroad Program and Duke Center for Global Studies.

Our summer institute will question basic assumptions engrained in the idea of modernity, progress and development and will encourage thinking and living in search of non-corporate social and human values.

The increasing tendency of higher education to embrace corporate values and to train experts, is carried out under the assumption that better and more is the only viable horizon for the future of the human species and life in the planet. Recently, for example, a new graduate program to train experts to detect fashionable tendencies in the consumer society has been offered at several private European universities. While such doctorate program will train efficient experts to increase consumption and therefore production of fashionable commodities, and finally increase the profit of the corporations and the stock market, it won’t do much to improve inequities within regional and global society. Corporate values embrace the heart of modernity, progress and development. Our summer institute will question basic assumptions engrained in the idea of modernity, progress and development and will encourage thinking and living in search of non-corporate social and human values. Doubts about such horizons are growing within academic environment as well as in the public sphere at large. Doubts are not only expressed in critical comments and arguments with regard to the god-like figure of the expert, but are also generating distinct horizons of knowledge and understanding that the seminar will address as "decolonial horizon.

We will arrive to this point by following three complementary and interrelated routes: a) addressing a set of crucial questions; b) locating “decolonial horizons” in contemporary debates about interdisciplinarity, the crisis of area studies and the limits of development; c) addressing the disorientation of science and technology (cfr., biotechnology and the pursuit of happiness) at the service of the market through the fictions of progress and development.

Throughout the seminar we will provide a historical overview of Western intellectual and educational history since the Renaissance and identify the moments of imperial/colonial relations of Europe and the US with the rest of the world.

Throughout the seminar we will provide a historical overview of Western intellectual and educational history since the Renaissance and identify the moments of imperial/colonial relations of Europe and the US with the rest of the world. Identifying the historical and geographical moments in which the west entered in contact with other cultures and civilizations would allow us to locate diverse decolonial horizons (in the Americas and the Caribbean, in Africa, in the Muslim Middle East and in Eurasia). We will link de-colonial horizons with the task of devising research projects and educational transformations required by a growing international and political society beyond the market and the state.

The basic questions are:

De-colonizing knowledge means then to call into question the principles that sustain current dominant knowledge, understanding and expectation of what society should be like and how social subjects should behave, what kind of knowledge is accepted as relevant, what applications receive grants or fellowship, what knowledge and understanding is encouraged and what is devalued, silenced or simply not supported. De-colonizing knowledge means to open up horizons and visions that are generally denied by mainstream academia and media.

In the first week we will focus on the formation and transformation of Western philosophy of knowledge and the philosophy of education. And we will parallel this with the trajectory of Islamic philosophy and philosophy of education in contact with Western models and ideals.

In the second week, the focus will shift to the history of philosophy and education from the Russian empire to the Soviet Union and its colonies. It will be paralleled with the history of Indigenous philosophy and knowledges since the European invasion of the Americas (by Spain, Portugal, France, Holland and England) and the double traditions of philosophy and education in Africa and in the Americas (particularly in South America and the Caribbean).