Maria Castro Varela

María do Mar Castro Varela is a Professor of Pedagogy and Social Work at the Alice Salomon University in Berlin. She holds a double degree in Psychology and Pedagogy from the University of Cologne and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen. She is one of the leading postcolonial theorists in the German speaking context. Her research interests besides Postcolonial Theory lies in Gender and Queer Studies, Critical Migration Studies, Critical (Adult-)Education and Trauma Studies. María do Mar Castro Varela is founder of the bildungsLab*, Berlin ( – a group of migrant women and women of color which tries to tamper with the powerful teaching machines. María do Mar Castro Varela has lectured at the University of Basel, Switzerland; the Zurich Academy of Arts, Switzerland and the University of Innsbruck, Austria and held guest professorships at the University in Oldenburg and the University La Laguna in Tenerife. She was visiting scholar at George Mason University, Virginia, Institute for Conflict Analysis & Resolution (ICAR), the University Busan in South Korea, the University of Costa Rica. In 2014, she was a visiting fellow of the Institute for International Law and the Humanities in Melbourne, Australia. In 2015/16 María do Mar Castro Varela was a senior fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna. In February 2018 María do Mar Castro Varela organized and hosted the “Berlin Conference on the Rohingya Genocide” at the Jewish Museum, Berlin. Publications include: Untimely Utopias. Migrant Women between Learned Hope and Self-Invention; Postcolonial Theory. A Critical Introduction (with Nikita Dhawan), The Demonization of Others (ed. with Paul Mecheril) [all published in German].