Robert Aman is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Education. He received his Ph.D. in 2014 with the dissertation Impossible Interculturality: Education and the Colonial Difference in a Multicultural World. Hitherto, all his research has revolved around the relationship between education, the geopolitics of knowledge, and various forms of exclusion and marginalization. With the use of postcolonial and decolonial theories he has, among other things, over the last couple of years studied colonial tropes in EU and UNESCO educational policies; written on indigenous social movements in the Andean region of South America and other epistemologies challenging Western paradigms; and comparatively studied the representation of Latin American history in Swedish and Colombian school text books.
A former Visiting Fellow with the Program in Literature at Duke University and at the Faculty of English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford, he is also co-founder and editor of the interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal Confero: Essays on Education, Philosphy & Politics.
Aman, R. (2015) The Double Bind of Interculturality, and the Implications for Education, Journal of Intercultural Studies, Vol. 36, No. 2, pp. 149-165: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07256868.2015.1008431#abstract
This paper explores the ways in which boundaries of estrangement are produced in the academic literature assigned for courses on interculturality. As the existence of interculturality is dependent on the ascription of content to culture – since the notion, by definition, always involves more than one singular culture – this essay seeks to provide an answer to the question of what this literature, implicitly or otherwise, defines in terms of sameness vis-à-vis otherness, and thereby to chart the conditions for becoming intercultural. This question is especially important because the self in interculturality has to be, in principle, generalizable: it should signify a position available for occupation by anybody with proper training in this approach. Starting from the assumption that different experiences, languages and identities, already intersect and are indeed already intercultural before being subjected to study under the auspices of ‘interculturality’ as an educational topic, the essay goes on to problematize the way in which interculturality tends to construe sameness and difference along national lines and does little to cater for multiple, as opposed to national, or other unified, identities. Why Interculturalidad is not Interculturality: Colonial Remains and Paradoxes in Translation between Supranational Bodies and Indigenous Social Movem : article de revue
Aman, R. (2015) Why Interculturalidad is not Interculturality: Colonial Remains and Paradoxes in Translation between Supranational Bodies and Indigenous Social Movements, Cultural Studies, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 205-228: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09502386.2014.899379#abstract
Interculturality is a notion that has come to dominate the debate on cultural diversity among supranational bodies such as the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in recent years. The EU goes so far as to identify interculturality as a key cultural and linguistic characteristic of a union which, it argues, acts as an inspiration to other parts of the world. At the same time, the very notion of interculturality is a core component of indigenous movements in the Andean region of Latin America in their struggles for decolonization. Every bit as contingent as any other concept, it is apparent that several translations of interculturality are simultaneously in play. Through interviews with students and teachers in a course on interculturality run by indigenous alliances, my aim in this essay is to study how the notion is translated in the sociopolitical context of the Andes. With reference points drawn from the works of Walter Mignolo and the concept of delinking, I will engage in a discussion about the potential for interculturality to break out of the prison-house of colonial vocabulary – modernization, progress and salvation – that lingers on in official memory. Engagement in such an interchange of experiences, memories and significations provides not only recognition of other forms of subjectivity, knowledge systems and visions of the future, but also a possible contribution to an understanding of how any attempt to invoke a universal reach for interculturality, as in the case of the EU and UNESCO, risks echoing the imperial order that the notion in another context attempts to overcome.
 Impossible Interculturality?: Education and the Colonial Difference in a Multicultural World : thèse ou habilitation
Aman, R. (2014) Impossible Interculturality?: Education and the Colonial Difference in a Multicultural World (Linköping, Linköping University Press): https://www.academia.edu/7103488/Impossible_Interculturality_Education_and_the_Colonial_Difference_in_a_Multicultural_World
An increasing number of educational policies, academic studies, and university courses today propagate ‘interculturality’ as a method for approaching ‘the Other’ and reconciling universal values and cultural specificities. Based on a thorough discussion of Europe’s colonial past and the hierarchies of knowledge that colonialism established, Impossible Interculturality? interrogates the definitions of intercultural knowledge put forth by EU policy discourse, academic textbooks on interculturality, and students who have completed a university course on the subject. Taking a decolonial approach that makes its central concern the ways in which differences are formed and sustained through references to cultural identities, Robert Aman shows that interculturality, as defined in these texts, runs the risk of affirming a singular European outlook on the world, and of elevating this outlook into a universal law. Contrary to its self-proclaimed goal of learning from the Other, interculturality may in fact contribute to the repression of the Other by silencing those who are already muted.
Impossible Interculturality? suggests an alternative definition of interculturality, which is not framed in terms of cultural differences but in terms of colonial difference. This argument is substantiated by an analysis of the Latin American concept of interculturalidad, which derives from the struggles for public and political recognition among indigenous social movements in Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. By bringing interculturalidad into the picture, with its roots in the particular and with strong reverberations of the historical experience of colonialism, this study explores the possibility of decentring the discourse of interculturality and its Eurocentric outlook. In this way, Impossible Interculturality? argues that an emancipation from colonial legacies requires that we start seeing interculturality as inter-epistemic rather than simply inter-cultural.
 Bridging the Gap to Those Who Lack: Intercultural Education in the Light of Modernity and the Shadow of Coloniality : article de revue