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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

3rd International Winter School: The Method of Imagination

28.03.2019, by Tina Keil in announcement

December 2-5, 2019, University of Sydney
Registration deadline: October 30th, 2019

Thomas Baines, Aboriginal Canoes Communicating with the 'Monarch' and the 'Tom Tough', 1868
Thomas Baines, Aboriginal Canoes Communicating with the 'Monarch' and the 'Tom Tough', 1868

The decolonization of imagination: the dynamics of voicing, silencing, ventriloquing and speaking on behalf

Topic and Goal

The general topic of the winter school is the notion of the imaginative process as higher mental function. It means that imaginative processes can be studied in their ontogenesis and sociogenesis, as in the case of other higher functions, and in relation to the cultural mediation of imagining. What is then the relationship between imaginative processes and value-systems, materialities, practices, communication, imaginaries and power dynamics? All these issues are today central in the field of social justice, decolonization, cultural psychology and social human sciences at large.

The specific goal of the 3rd winter school will be to explore the cultural processes of inhibiting and promoting imaginative forms, how psychology works in voicing (promote the expression), silencing (making invisible), ventriloquing (projecting its own values) or speaking on behalf of (inhibiting autonomous expression) diversity, its legitimation and power dynamics in the current colonization, decolonization and recolonization collective processes. The participants will reflect theoretically and practically on the role of imagining as access to radical otherness and production of “othering”. For instance, how dominant power dynamics have inhibited some forms (eg. rejecting imagining as form of legitimate knowledge creation in the name of primitive superstition, as for instance in the case of Aboriginal cultures, creating divides between rationality and imagination, judging as indecent fantasies in the case of woman sexuality, to mention but few), or promoted some others (e.g. imagination and creativity and innovation as commodities, the dictatorship of desires, etc.). The answers to these questions can bring new hints to different fields: social psychology, psychology of communication, decolonizing studies, cultural studies, culture-sensitive therapy, just to mention but few.


This event serves as unique interdisciplinary and international collaboration between clinical and cultural psychology interrogating a critical issue in academic reform. Now more than ever University programs must co-produce knowledge with diverse and marginalized populations, asking critical questions about the effects of the colonial legacy on what is taught. This includes deconstructing the philosophical frameworks that inform how psychology is understood by and enacted on both those who practice and consume it. Rather than apply superficial policies regarding decolonization, however, we need to develop imaginative responses, encouraging PhD students and early-stage researchers to ask questions about themselves and social processes, in order to take up creative leadership roles. There needs to be a move away from cultural diversity as the study of the “exotic other” towards reflexive practice about so-called mainstream cultures by those who are privileged.

Activities and Participants

The winter school “The decolonization of imagination” will take place over three days (2-5 December 2019) in Sydney and is organized by the Centre for Cultural Psychology of Aalborg University, the University of Sydney and the Post-graduate Program in Teaching, Philosophy and History of Sciences, Federal University of Bahia.

The number of participants will be max 20-25, including PhD students and early stage researcher, who will have theoretical discussions, field works and collective writing sessions. There will be a preparation phase including a number of preliminary reading and a follow up phase that will result in a collective publication.

The organizers of the winter school are Luca Tateo (Federal University of Bahia and Aalborg University), Paul Rhodes (Sydney University) and Pina Marsico (Salerno University).

International Teaching Staff

  • Cynthia Langtiw (Chicago School of Professional Psychology, USA)
  • Pina Marsico (Salerno University, Italy)
  • Paul Rhodes (Sydney University, Australia)
  • Luca Tateo (Federal University of Bahia, Brazil and Aalborg University, Denmark)
  • Omid Tophigian (American University of Cairo, Egypt)

For further details and registration, please visit: