Calendar & events

The College of Human Sciences 2020 Decoloniality Summer School

Senate hall

Unisa Muckleneuk Campus

Event date:
13 - 17 January 2020

Theme: Decolonising Knowledge, Power and Being

The College of Human Sciences (CHS) at the University of South Africa (Unisa) will host a one-week long Summer School on Decoloniality with a focus on Power, Knowledge and Being.

The Summer school will the held as follows:

Dates: 13 - 17 January 2020
Venue: Manhattan Hotel, Scheiding Street, Pretoria, South Africa

The lectures and discussions will be delivered and facilitated by leading international decolonial thinkers and theorists:
Professor Lewis Gordon (UCONN), Professor Rozena Maart, Professor Pumla Gqola (University of Fort Hare), and Professor Sabelo Ndlovu (Unisa).

This Summer School takes place at a crucial time characterised by an epistemic break in which the dominant Euro-North American- centric epistemology is experiencing a terminal crisis.

The current epistemic crisis has opened the way for the rise of epistemologies from the Global South, bringing in a new interpretation of the human experience. What is poignantly emerging is the shifting of the geography and biography of knowledge resulting in the privileging of the Global South archive and other subjugated knowledges.

The Summer School will deal with the following pertinent issues among many others:

  • Modernity, Eurocentrism and coloniality
  • Epistemic racism/patriarchy/sexism
  • Zone of being/zone of non-being
  • Knowledge and power                                                   
  • Coloniality of being and subjectivity
  • Development, nationalism and decolonization
  • African archive and library
  • African intellectual traditions
  • Africa and the modern world
  • Decolonising the university

At the end of the Summer School, the attendees/graduates will be able to reflect seriously and critically on the following important questions:

  • How was the modern world constituted?
  • W ho is producing knowledge?
  • W hat institutions and disciplines legitimise it?
  • W hat is knowledge for and who benefits from it?
  • How is our social existence colonised?
  • How do we think about decolonising being?
  • W hat power hierarchies constitute the cartography of power of the global political- economy we live in and how do we go about decolonising the world.

Documents to read

Decolonizing gender

The Summer School is targeted at graduate students and academics from South Africa and the rest of the African cotninent. Admission to the Summer School is on a first come, first served basis.


Registered participants will receive reading material and final program in preparation for the seminars, a month in advance. Classes will be conducted over five days. These are lecture intensive seminars in which participants engage in critical discussion and reflection. Guest lecturers will be available at stipulated times (outside lecture hours) to consult with participants on their research. Spaces for self-organised workshops and discussions will also be created.

Registration &Fees

Prospective participants must email to request a registration form which must be completed and sent back to the same email address no later than 10 November 2019.

No late applications will be accepted.

Please note that the Summer School  is   capped at 60 participants. Participants will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

Upon submission of the completed registration forms, participants will be required to pay a fee of

R1500.00. This fee is inclusive of tuition and lunch for the duration of the Summer School (13 – 17 January 2020).

Please note that the fees are payable by 30 November 2019. Banking details where the fee must be deposited are in the Registration Form.


Please note that participants are responsible for reserving their own accommodation for the duration of the Summer School. Participants are advised to secure their accommodation well in advance of the commencement of the Summer School.