Insurgent Research: Looking for Autonomy in the Production of Knowledge with Social Activist and Post-Development Theorist Dr. Gustavo Esteva

Super awesome event real, real soon:

The Foucauldian challenge to the institutional production of
“truth” (the statements governing our behavior) is not coming from
universities or research centers but from social movements: insurgent
research, militant research, reflection in action…from Colectivo
Situaciones in Argentina to Unitierra in California or Chocosol in
Toronto, autonomous centers for the production of knowledge are
proliferating. Is this an ephemeral, marginal fashion? What is the
role of these centers in the current wave of mobilizations? Do they
represent alternative, valid ways of knowing?


Co-sponsored by the Adelphic Educational Fund, Infoshoppe Collective, Ajúa Campos,
Hermes, Occupy, Center for the Americas, LAST, Academic Affairs, the
Service Learning Center and the Sociology and Anthropology

More super awesome details after the jump.

Gustavo Esteva is an independent writer, a grassroots activist and a
deprofessionalized intellectual.He works both independently and in conjunction with a variety of
Mexican NGOs and grassroots organizations and communities. He has been
a key figure in founding several Mexican, Latin American and
International NGOs and networks.Though not an economist by training, he received Mexico’s National
Prize of Political Economy for his contribution to the theory of
inflation, and though not a sociologist was President of the 5th World
Rural Sociology Congress. He also served as President of the Mexican
Society of Planning, as Vice-president of the Inter-American Society
of Planning, and served as Board Member and Interim Chairman of the
United Nations Research Institute for Social Development.

In his early career, he held senior positions in both private business
and government, and was destined for a distinguished career within
Mexico’s establishment. He decided, however, that solutions to
people’s problems could come only from the people themselves and has
since dedicated himself to their service.

He is a well known writer, with three dozen books and hundreds of
essays and articles published around the world in numerous languages.
Through regular columns in leading Mexican newspapers, he takes
special interest in expanding public awareness about the reality and
hopes of the so called poor with whom he is associated.

Gustavo is an active voice within the “deprofessionalized” segment
of the Southern intellectual community. He rejects both the
terminology and constructs of development in all its forms as
inherently destructive of the human processes by which common people
work to recreate community as a creative expression of their culture
and aspirations. Gustavo argues that even the “alternative”
development prescriptions lead inexorably to depriving the people of
control over their own lives and shifting this control to bureaucrats,
technocrats, and educators. Rather than presume that human progress
fits some predetermined mold leading toward an increasing
homogenization of cultures and life styles, he prefers a “radical
pluralism” that honors and nurtures distinctive culture variety and
enables many paths to the realization of self-defined aspirations. In
Grassroots Postmodernism: Remaking the Soil of Cultures and Escaping
Education: Living as Learning at the Grassroots, that he wrote with
Madhu S. Prakash, he elaborates on his thesis.

He was invited by the Zapatistas to be their advisor, in 1996. Since
then, he has been very active in what today is called Zapatismo,
involving himself with the current struggle of the indigenous peoples.
He lives in a small Zapotec village in the south of Mexico.

Date: Feb. 21
Time: Noon – 1:30PM
Place: Olin: Room 204
Cost: Free