Vanessa Andreotti Appointed PWIAS Interim Director

August 20, 2021

The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies is pleased to announce that Dr. Vanessa Andreotti, Canada Research Chair in Race, Inequalities and Global Change and Professor in the Faculty of Education’s Department of Educational Studies, has been appointed to a one-year term as the Interim Director of the Institute beginning September 1st, 2021.  

Professor Andreotti’s research examines historical and systemic patterns of reproduction of inequalities and how these affect possibilities for collective existence and global change. She has worked extensively across various sectors of society with NGOs, professional associations, governments, social movements, and communities. Her research has problematized approaches to education and global change that reproduce paternalistic forms of relationships; simplistic solutions to complex problems; and ethnocentric ideals of sustainability, equity, justice, and change. Her publications in this field include analyses of political economies of knowledge production, discussions of the ethics of international development, and critical comparisons of different approaches to international collaborations and internationalization, with an emphasis on representations of and relationships with Indigenous, racialized, and other systemically marginalized communities. Her research has offered conceptual clarifications and pedagogical innovations that have supported policy and curricular changes internationally. Professor Andreotti’s work conceptualizes education as an expansion of frames of reference that can prepare all sectors of society for collaboratively addressing wicked global challenges and for expanding ethical solidarities in contexts marked by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA). Her current CRC research program focuses on decolonial social innovations in education through a partnership with the Federation of the Huni Kui Indigenous peoples of Acre, in the Amazon region, and several other Indigenous groups in Brazil, Peru and Canada. Professor Andreotti is also one of the co-founders of the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures Art/Research collective. Her academic work is committed to protecting the public role of the university as critic and conscience of society and as a space of independent, multi-voiced, trans-disciplinary, critically informed and socially and ecologically accountable debates about alternative futures.

Professor Andreotti has degrees from the Universities of Paraná (B. Ed.), Manchester (M.A.) and Nottingham (Ph.D.).  She has previously held academic positions at the National University of Ireland, the University of Canterbury in Aotearoa/New Zealand, and the University of Oulu, in Finland, where she held a European Research Chair in Global Education. She has been on the faculty at UBC since 2014, and was a Wall Scholar that year.  She was inducted into the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists in 2019. She has also been appointed as the next David Lam Professor in Critical Multicultural Education, starting in January 2022.

The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies provides scholars with an exceptional opportunity to explore innovative research questions in a vibrant, interdisciplinary environment.  The theme for this year’s cohort of Wall Scholars is Complex Systems, which aligns with Professor Andreotti’s area of expertise. Please join us in congratulating Professor Andreotti on this appointment.