Linked Inter-University Teaching Cooperations (Critical Theory In the Global South Project)

Yale and Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación (Chile): “Technologies of Critique: New Sources for Critical Theory”

The military dictatorship (1973-1990) and the subsequent rapid liberalization of society, challenged opportunities for critical dialogue in Chile. In the US, universities are a key place where such dialogue happens. In Chile, universities were first cleared of critical voices and then transformed into a workforce development program. Because of this special history, critical theory in Chile over the past decade has focused on the ongoing reform of the university. It has offered post-Marxist sources for critique and has been at the forefront of rethinking concepts such as “freedom” in the face of neoliberalism.

Chilean philosopher Willy Thayer, a leading Latin American critical theorist, and Paul North, a US-based critical theorist, propose a collaborative project to renovate and expand the topics and problems at the center of critical theory. The collaborators will prepare a list of new fundamental texts, conceptual problems, and methods informed by Latin American experiences of dictatorship, neoliberal reform, and socialism. The purpose of this research is to develop undergraduate and graduate courses at both institutions where these Latin American texts can be read, newly formulated conceptual problems addressed, and new methods learned. The collaboration will include a reciprocal exchange of graduate fellows, who will assist with the development of the new courses.

Contact Faculty:

Paul North (German Languages and Literatures Yale University) | Website

Willy Thayer (Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación, Chile) | Website

Project Bibliography:

Santa Cruz, Guadalupe, Federico Galende, Pablo Oyarzun, Willy Thayer, Elizabeth Collingwood-Selby. “Conversation on Willy Thayer’s The Unmodern Crisis of the University.” Nepantla: Views from the South 1, no. 1 (2000): 229-254.

News and Events:

  • Willy Thayer, Technologías de la critica:
    The translation of Professor Thayer’s book is receiving its finishing touches and is currently under contract with Fordham University Press to be published in their Idiom series.

Rutgers and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México: “The University and Its Publics: North, South, and in Between”

Neoliberalism and narcopolitics are among the leading keywords expressing perceptions of a crisis undergone by state universities in a number of Latin American contexts. This project develops a critical understanding of the transformation of state institutions such as the university, and their forms of knowledge, in this joint context. We also explore a practice of critical thinking about the university that revisits the power relations between North and South, and Northern and Southern universities, that inform “theory” or “critical thinking” as they are commonly understood.

This project involves a collaboration between Mexican critical theorist Marisa Belausteguigoitia and US-based scholars Andrew Parker, Yolanda Martinez-San Miguel, and Ben Sifuentes-Jáuregui to reconsider the relations between critical theory and the public university, as impacted by factors ranging from colonialism, genealogies of gender and modernity, dictatorship, neoliberalism, and narcopolitics. The collaboration will result in the creation of a new critical theory course on the university and its publics, new translations, the creation of a bibliography on critical theory and the public role of the university, and cooperative doctoral workshops.

Contact Faculty:

Andrew Parker (Department of French and Comparative Literary Studies, Rutgers) | Website 

Yolanda Martínez San-Miguel (Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies, Rutgers) | Website

Ben Sifuentes-Jáuregui (American Studies and Comparative Literature) | Website

Marisa Belausteguigoitia (Programa Universitario de Estudios de Género, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) | Website

Project Resources:

Belausteguigoitia, Marisa. “Tilting Pedagogies as Utopian Intervention: Outrage, Desire and the Body in the Classroom.” Keynote presentation at The Scholar and Feminist 2013: Utopia conference at Barnard College on March 2, 2013. | Video

Mbembe, Achille, Judith Butler, Wendy Brown, David Theo Goldberg. “The University and its Worlds: A Panel Discussion with Achille Mbembe, Judith Butler, Wendy Brown, and David Theo Goldberg.” Panel discussion at University of the Western Cape on May 26, 2016. | Video


Hacer Escuela/Inventing School: Rethinking the Pedagogy of Critical Theory

Two workshops, organized in collaboration with the Latin American Philosophy of Education Society (LAPES), will bring together Latin American thinkers working on philosophies of education influenced by Critical Theory traditions, with professors and graduate students teaching and studying Critical Theory in North American universities. In the last two decades, new innovations in pedagogy have been developing across Latin America, produced often through creatively combining elements of European Critical Theory with a rethinking of Latin American traditions and indigenous knowledges. These pedagogies have emerged in contexts as diverse as the introduction of Philosophy for Children programs in the periphery of Rio de Janeiro (inspired in part by theories of Rancière and Deleuze), the Zapatistas in Chiapas (reworking anarchist, marxist, and postcolonial principles through the recuperation of indigenous knowledges), the Movimento Sem Terra in Brasil (a grassroots movement mobilizing ideas from marxism, liberation theology, and critical pedagogy), the anarcha-feminist collective Mujeres Creando Comunidad in Bolivia, and the philosophy of Simón Rodríguez who, as one of the first modern “popular” educators in Latin America, not only constructed physical school buildings around the world for impoverished and often marginalized populations, but also sought to “invent school [hacer escuela]” by creating the conditions for events of education to happen. This project asks how, notwithstanding increasing imposition of neoliberal measures, all of these movements have given rise to new understandings of pedagogical relations, of what it means to be a subject of education, and of how educational practice can refigure public space. The workshops will lead to the development of the syllabus “Latin American Philosophies of Education” at Fordham University, and the publication of a pedagogy “handbook” consisting of theoretical reflections and descriptions of pedagogical practices. Both the syllabus and the handbook will be made publicly available through the websites of LAPES and the Critical Theory Consortium.

Contact Faculty:

Samir Haddad (Philosophy, Fordham University) | Website

Ariana Gonzales Stokas (Dean, Inclusive Excellence, Bard College) | Website

Jason Wozniak (Co-Director, Lapes/San Jose State University) | Website

LAPES (Latin American Philosophy of Education Society)  | Website

Project Bibliography:

Kohan, Walter Omar. "Travel and Formation of the Self: Errantry" and "Inventing School, Life, and Politics with Simón Rodríguez." In Kohan, The Inventive Schoolmaster, 11-26 and 77-82. Rotterdam: SensePublishers, 2015.

Rancière, Jacques. "Ecole, production, égalité." In L'école de la démocratie, ed. Xavier Renou, 79-96. Paris: Edilig/Fondation Diderot, 1988. Available here.

Hostos, Eugenio María de. "Prologue." In La Peregrinación de Bayoán, 2nd edition. Available here.

News and Events:

  • The first workshop is scheduled for April 12-14, 2018, at Fordham University's Lincoln Center campus.