Epistemic Independence Struggles: A Comparative Analysis of Two Indigenous Universities in Peru and Ecuador

  • Lenin Arturo Valencia Arroyo
Part of the Marxism and Education book series (MAED)


This chapter1 attempts to develop some possible answers to the following questions: How can we explain the rise of indigenous universities in Latin America since the 1990s? Why did this happen now and not before? What does it mean in terms of epistemic breaks in relation to the traditional, dominant (Western) patterns of knowledge production? I try to respond to such questions through the analysis of two indigenous universities—UNIA and UINPI—in Peru and Ecuador, two Andean postcolonial countries in which neoliberal policies have been applied since the 1980s (Assies, van deer Haar and Hoekema, 2000). Based on a neo-Gramscian approach, this essay addresses mainly the sociohistorical conditions in which both educational projects have been gestated. The essay is divided into four parts: in the first part I present the cases under analysis; second I present some theoretical reflections; in the third I explain the processes of state formation/reconfiguration of Peru and Ecuador; finally I present some concluding reflections.


Social Movement Ethnic Identity High Education System Amazon Region Indigenous Student 
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© Sara C. Motta and Mike Cole 2013

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  • Lenin Arturo Valencia Arroyo

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