(Rosalba) RA Icaza Garza

dr. (Rosalba) RA Icaza Garza
Associate Professor International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) Academic staff unit
Burg. Oudlaan 50, Rotterdam
Back to overview


"My research and teaching have been driven by an overwhelming concern to understand resistance to multiple oppressions and the ways in which one’s understanding is mediated by memories of physical repression experienced by labor, indigenous and feminist leaders with whom I used to work in Mexico City” 

Before coming to ISS and the Netherlands, I was an activist in Mexico City working for a network of social movements opposing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In 1999, I moved to the UK to conduct postgraduate studies. By 2005, I had obtained my PhD from the University of Warwick (UK) under the supervision of Professor Jan Aart Scholte on the political economy of transborder civic resistance to open/neo-liberal regionalism. Thereafter, I moved to Swedent thanks to a EU-Commission Marie Curie Fellowship to work at the University of Gothenburg with Professor Edme Dominguez on the gendered character of these transborder resistances. 

As an International Relations/Studies person, my research was for a while focused on mapping paths of civic engagement on regionalisms across the world. Since arriving to ISS in 2007, its intercultural and multidisciplinary environment deeply impacted me personally/professionally.Today, I explain my research agenda as one that seeks to understand how place-based social resistances contribute to global epistemic justice. In so doing, I am not circumscribed to a particular discipline anymore and my latest publications have had a variety of target audiences (i.e. IR, global, cultural and gender studies, sociology, etc.).

Below there is a description of my four different but interconnected areas of research:

I Decolonial thinking and 'the international': How can one revisit the modern/colonial character of notions such as region, regionalism, social resistance and global justice? My way of working this question has been through the identification of decolonial trajectories in knowledges and cosmovisions that have been actively produced as backward or ‘sub-altern’ by hegemonic forms of understanding on 'the international' (including liberalism, Marxism, some feminisms, post-structuralism and the current IR hype on “Quantum Thinking”). Post-development and decolonial thinkers such as Escobar, Esteva, Mignolo and Lugones have been crucial for my understanding of the epistemic violence of eurocentrism.

II Thinking the academia in the promotion of autonomy: In which ways the academia can contribute to sustain forms of epistemic dissent aiming at promoting global social justice and autonomy? In exploring this question I have been involved in different collaborative research initiatives including the Transnational Network Other Knowledges  (RETOS) and the International Consortium “Tejiendo Voces” (www.tejiendovoces.org.mx).

III Learning as liberation/liberation of learning: I am interested in the application of action-research methodologies in my teaching and research and committed to facilitating spaces for mutual learning between practitioners and academics. My pedagogical practices are inspired by Third-world, Chicana, Black and de-colonial feminist theories and epistemologies. I have collaborated with Professor Gustavo Esteva (UNITIERRA-OAXACA) and Dr. Rolando Vazquez (University College Roosevelt) in the Going Glocal initiative - co-financed by the Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs as a pioneering effort in education and research on global citizenship in The Netherlands (www.goingglocal.nl).

IV Plural feminisms for plural liberations: I am deeply interested in inter-cultural dialogues among different strands of feminisms. I have been exploring the ideas of coalitional politics as developed by Maria Lugones and the points of convergence and divergence between decolonial and post-colonial feminisms.

I welcome PhD students and post-Doctoral fellows interested in any of these broad areas of research. 


Visiting address

Burg. Oudlaan 50 3062 PA Rotterdam

Postal address

Postbus 1738 3000 DR Rotterdam