El pasado 26 de agosto de 2018, Aldo Iván Parra Sánchez realizó, en la Universidad de Aalborg, Dinamarca, de manera exitosa la defensa de su tesis Doctoral titulada “Curupira’s Walk: Prowling Ethnomathematics Theory Through Decoloniality“, bajo la dirección de la Doctora Paola Valero.
La Red Latinoamericana de Etnomatemática felicita al Doctor Parra por este importante logro académico y a su directora.
“This thesis adopts a decolonial standpoint to introduce a new theoretical frame- work for ethnomathematics. There is an emerging trend in ethnomathematics, that considers challenges posed by socio-political movements worldwide. That trend deserves a solid foundation and this thesis is aiming to provide it. The proposed framework calls into question the current theorization (and critique) of ethnomathematics, by claiming a performative, non-essentialist, and interac- tional approach that assumes the inseparability of socio-political concerns and philosophical questions within the field.
In order to argue for the robustness and contributions of the proposed theorisation, the thesis elaborates further some of the well-established de- bates on ethnomathematics: the problem of representation in the relation re- searcher/researched, the coherence of methods employed in research, the sen- sitivity towards predicaments of Indigenous education, the challenges of mul- tilingualism and linguistic diversity, the political consequences of ethnomath- ematical research, and the positioning of ethnomathematics on the nature of mathematics.
The thesis works theory in a twofold way: one that develops theory as a structure defining objects and procedures of interest for the field; and other way that introduces and refines analytical notions that function as a toolbox for practice. In the first sense, a theory of interactions and relations among cultures and mathematics is produced. In the second sense, two original theoretical notions that can guide the practice of the working ethnomathematicians are proposed: symmetry and barter. Other notions coming from decolonial studies are adapted and reworked for the specificity of ethnomathematics: locus of enunciation, intellectual property, and propio.
As an article-based thesis, it is structured with one introduction, seven chapters containing independent articles, and a conclusion. The introduction states the research questions on the need of new theorisations that can comprise jointly political and philosophical concerns on the foundation of ethnomathe- matics. The seven chapters are devoted to explain how particular problems of ethnomathematics theory and practice can be addressed under new per- spectives that (dis)solve the tensions that framed the debates until now. The conclusion shows how those perspectives can be articulated within a decolonial approach.
As a result of the investigation, it is argued that a decolonial, performative, non-essentialist, and interactional approach has the potential of providing a robust foundation for the current practices of etnomathematics. It also allows introducing new concerns, scenarios and actors that can lead the theory and practice of ethnomathematics into a new era”.