LOVA International Summer School 2019: ‘Unschooling the Anthropologist’: gender, love and sexuality

1-5 July, Amsterdam

LOVA is pleased to announce its 7th edition International Summer School! Because of the positive response to last years’ theme, LOVA ISS 2019 will again be centered around ‘Unschooling the Anthropologist’, with a special focus on gender, love and sexuality.

Unschooling is seen as a philosophy or educational attitude that promotes self-directed learning, as well as the acquiring of skills, knowledge and wisdom through real life experiences, honest, meaningful dialogues and curiosity. This Summer School is focused on helping participants to fundamentally empty themselves from acquired constructs and concepts, in order to be open to the world as it enfolds around us. This practice of ‘unschooling’ can be useful for researchers, and particularly anthropologists.

I hope that you will listen, but not with the memory of what you already know; and this is very difficult to do. You listen to something, and your mind immediately reacts with its knowledge, its conclusions, its opinions, its past memories. It listens, inquiring for a future understanding. Just observe yourself, how you are listening, and you will see that this is what is taking place. Either you are listening with a conclusion, with knowledge, with certain memories, experiences, or you want an answer, and you are impatient. You want to know what it is all about, what life is all about, the extraordinary complexity of life. You are not actually listening at all. – Jiddu Krishnamurti.

Through academic lectures, interactive workshops and self-research, LOVA creates a platform for participants to critically and playfully examine their held beliefs and attitudes towards several broad themes that commonly arise in the work of anthropologists, including e.g. ‘education’, ‘gender and sexuality’ and ‘development work’. There will also be several excursions to stimulate the mind and body, and an exceptionally enjoyable encounter with the history and culture of Amsterdam.

Within the LOVA ISS, we enjoy working with a small, dedicated groups of participants, coming from various backgrounds. The summer school is designed for students (BA, MA and PhD) and lifelong learners, and combines academic learning with body work and reflective practices. We will also provide information about ethnographic ‘tools’ within the parameters of gender and feminist anthropology.

Some of the topics of this year’s lectures, workshops and excursions are:

  • Rethinking schooling:  How can we re-imagine the value and modes of learning? How can we explore the relationship between teacher and learner?
  • Rethinking gender and sexuality: What does it mean ‘to be of a particular gender’? How can we explore the gendered body through dance and movement?
  • Rethinking love, passion and emotions: Can a feminist dance tango? Can we really feel at home in our bodies? Does passion make that simpler or harder?
  • Rethinking development goals: What are the discourses surrounding sexual education; by whom and for whom?
  • Rethinking history: how are ‘his’/’her’ stories colored and shaped? How are 17th century women portrayed in the Rijksmuseum art works?

Tuition fee


The tuition fee includes: All lectures, workshops and excursions mentioned in the program; lunches (5 days);  coffee, tea and refreshments.

The program fee excludes accommodation. Yet, upon request we can offer a limited number of participants a couch-surf spot with one of our LOVA network members . For other suggestions regarding stay, please contact us and we will inform you about possible solutions, including camping or hostels.


We would like to receive a short letter (maximum half a page) stating your motivation to participate. We will inform you about your acceptance in due time. Upon receipt of the acceptance letter please proceed with the payment of the tuition fee and you will receive a letter of confirmation and updates about the summer school program. For any questions don’t hesitate to contact us!

Deadline for applications: 1 May 2019

We look forward to receive your application. Please send your message to: summerschool@lova.network


The daily schedule runs from 9.00/10.00 – 17.00/18.00. We guarantee small groups. In previous editions there were participants from all around the world. Courses and workshops are taught in English. Please note to bring comfortable shoes for the excursions and strolls around the city.

The venues

The workshops and lectures will be provided at various locations (more information regarding the actual location per date will be given later). The following venues are included:

CEDLA: The Center for Latin American Research and Documentation is located in the Eastern part of the city center of Amsterdam, at the Weesperplein area. This inspiring research center will be our host for two of the five days.

Cultural Melting Pot Café OKO: located in the West of Amsterdam, this art gallery, workshop space and vegan café offers an ideal setting for our Summer School program. We will be here for two of the five days.

Nelson Mandela House: this beautiful inn, located in the North of Amsterdam, alongside the river IJ, is dedicated to celebrating and restoring interconnection, based on the Ubuntu-philosophy. We will be using their beautiful workshop space for one day.

LOVA Summer School committee

Academic Directors: Dr. Emma Emily de Wit & Irene Arends, PhD scholar

Chair LOVA: Dr. Marina de Regt