2024 AAHHE Conference Theme

Interrogating Ways of Knowing & Production as Forms of Healing: The Intersection(s) between la Tierra, Comunidad, y Educación 

Interrogating Ways of Knowing & Production as Forms of Healing: The Intersection(s) between the Land, Community, and Education

Theme Description and Rationale

The 2024 AAHHE National Conference theme prioritizes the idea of questioning what counts and what does not count as knowledge in academic spaces (Camacho). As an extension from last year’s conference theme, La Lucha Sigue: Refusal, Resistance, and Praxis at Critical Junctures, this year's theme incites proposals to question the systems that cement the positional superiority of one way of knowing over another (Baca Lopez; Garcia). We invite interrogation of the systems (Baca Lopez).

This year’s theme speaks to the reality that some of our comunidad are working in spaces where we have to interrogate existing systems. At the same time, we are interrogated because of our work/lens; we have to find a way forward to still create community, connection, and spaces to feel whole (Silva Tovar). It allows us to push back against colonizing practices of knowledge production and burnout, and create space to heal from the historical traumas through different ways of knowing (Baca Lopez; Posadas). 

We as members of the AAHHE community recognize different ways of knowing. We call upon the community to critically examine the knowledge canon and the impact of traditional white ways of knowing has had on knowledge production in the Latinx/a/o/e community (Burgos-Lopez). Most importantly, we intentionally invite decolonizing ways of knowing into our space. Our intention is to “overturn the knowledge-power relations currently operational” within the Latinx/a/o/e community to “usher genuine liberation” (Dussel, 2002, Grosfoguel, 2013, Masak, 2021, p. 259). Moreover, the use of interrogation is a call to question the need for constant Eurocentric knowledge production. Interrogating is a way to center ourselves amidst the “requirement” to produce (as a student, staff, faculty, and administration); therefore, we inquire, “How can we remain whole as we rethink notions of production?” (Silva Tovar).

We invite proposals from various ways of knowing that seek to explore and question the intersection(s) between la tierra (the land), comunidad (the community), y educación (and education). Particularly, we acknowledge the numerous diasporas of our different communities as well as their displacement from their different homelands as a result of colonization, financial (in)stabilities, climate change, and other reasons (Baca Lopez; Oropeza Fujimoto). We welcome proposals that address these issues from multiple perspectives and various intersections and definitions of community. We hope to inspire decolonizing ways of knowing that redefine what we consider education.

We are deeply intentional in centering the term “interrogating” within the title to demonstrate our commitment to questioning our values and practices within ourselves, within our organizations, and within systems (Baca Lopez). We cannot deny our history, our current realities, or the continued lucha (fight) of our communities who keep interrogating for change (Campos).

In comunidad,

The 2024 Conference Planning Committee