Centre for Cultural Psychology

3rd International Winter School “The method of imagination”

3rd International Winter School “The method of imagination”

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


02.12.2019 - 05.12.2019


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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)

Participants and registration

Early stage researchers (advanced students, PhD, Post-doc, young researchers) in all disciplines are welcome, with particular focus on psychology, philosophy and history of ideas. Participation is open to max20 participants, who need to provide a short (approx. 250 words) description of their research interests/projects, to be sent after the registration to lucatateo@gmail.com

There will be two registration deadlines with different participant fees:

  • Early bid: for those registered before 30 June 2019 the fee will be 1000 Australian Dollars (around 620 Euros) including 3 nights accommodation at Sydney University College (https://www.sanctasophiacollege.edu.au/contact-us/), coffee break and lunch.
  • Regular registration: for those registered before 30 October 2019 the fee will be 1200 Australian Dollars (around 745 Euros) including 3 nights accommodation at Sydney University College (https://www.sanctasophiacollege.edu.au/contact-us/), coffee break and lunch.

Registration and payment are open February 15 2019 until October 30 2019 here https://sydney.onestopsecure.com/onestopweb/WinterPsy

For further information check the Centre for Cultural Psychology website (www.ccp.aau.dk). For further inquiries, please write to lucatateo@gmail.com


What is the winter school “The method of imagination”

The goal of the cycle of International Winter School on The method of imagination is to introduce and develop the new multidisciplinary field of study of imaginative process among early-stage researchers and advanced students. As a peculiar form of knowing, imaginative activity is at work in several contexts of everyday life and it is related to other higher mental processes and functions (memory, emotion, judgment, problem solving, etc.). It is also a process through which we construct collective products that become social realities and through which we construct our relationship with the environment. The winter school aims at establishing the interdisciplinary field of imaginative processes studies and to train early stage researchers from different disciplines. The winter schools are organized every two years by the Centre for Cultural Psychology (www.ccp.aau.dk), Aalborg University, which is a world-leading location in the field of cultural psychology, in collaboration with other higher education institutions.

The first international winter school "The method of imagination", took place 18-21 February 2015 in Klitgaarden Residence in Skagen, Denmark. The goal was to open the field of study of imagination as higher mental function and to begin the training of a new generation of students. The outcome was a collective volume “The Method of Imagination. Multidisciplinary explorations” published in 2018 by Information Age. The second edition took place in Vienna in 18-20 December 2017, and was organized with the Sigmund Freud University. The topic was “Hidden present and visible absent”, focusing on the theoretical and applied issues of imagination as a resource for the researcher. The outcome was a collective auto-ethnography published on the Springer journal “Human Arenas. An Interdisciplinary Journal of Psychology, Culture, and Meaning” in 2018.

Research at the 3rd International Winter School “The method of imagination” The decolonization of imagination

One aspect of the school will be to conduct a collective auto-ethnography of the experience of participants for the interdisciplinary journal Human Arenas. This innovative form of research aims at knowledge production through ethnographic collective writing with mixed media and aims to capture the introspections of the group in creative form, allowing for the results to be disseminated to the wider academic audience. This study has already precedents (Rhodes, et al. (2018) Hidden Present, Visible Absent in The City of Dreams: Assembling the Collective Imagination. Accepted. Human Arenas, 1(2), pp 151-165; Tateo, et. Al. (2018) Five Gazes on the Border: a Collective Auto-Ethnographic Writing. Human Arenas, 1(2), pp 113-133) having been produced as a result on the second edition of the Winter School in Vienna.

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Centre for Cultural Psychology of Aalborg University and the University of Sydney


University of Sydney

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