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Dr. Caroline Suransky

Caroline Suransky

Associate Professor in Higher Education and Social Change






wetenschappelijk personeel, Leerstoel Educatie


Carolina Suransky (1961) is Associate Professor in Humanistic Studies, Education and Social Change at the UvH and Extraordinary Associate Professor Education Policy Studies at Stellenbosch University in South Africa.
In her teaching and research, she focuses on globalization, decolonial pedagogies, pluralism and social change and has a particular interest in how Higher Education can play a role in advancing social justice and climate justice.


Carolina Suransky (1961) is Associate Professor in Humanistic Studies, Education and Social Change at the UvH and Extraordinary Associate Professor Education Policy Studies at Stellenbosch University  in South Africa.

She studied Philosophy of Education and Curriculum Studies at universities in the Netherlands, the United States and South Africa. Between 1988 and 1998 she taught at the University of Durban Westville (now UKZN) in South Africa and continues to cooperate with South African universities until the present.

She currently leads a Comenius Senior Fellowship project on 'Wokeness and Resistance'. In this project, students and staff discover how they can work together as agonists (Mouffe 2013), rather than distrustful antagonists. In seminars, dialogues and workshops they aim to translate difficult issues into curriculum revision, taking into account diverse views.

Carolina is Chair of the UvH Steering Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

In her teaching and research, she focuses on globalization, decolonial pedagogies, pluralism and social change and has a particular interest in how Higher Education can play a role in advancing social justice and climate justice.

She research associate and member of the advisory committee of the project Diamonds on the Soles of their Feet in Limpopo, South Africa.

Carolina Suransky supervises PhD students from across the world.

In collaboration with Henk Manschot and S-Composition (Chloé Latour and Jean-Pierre Seyvos) she has started working on educational arrangements regarding philosophical and ethical dimensions of sustainable living an interdependent world.

Previous academic experience includes:

From 2011 – 2023 she was Visiting Professor/Research Fellow of the Unit for Institutional Change and Social Justice at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

From 2004 to 2010, she served on the Executive Board (College van Bestuur) of the University of Humanistic Studies, portfolio Education and Student Affairs. She also co-founded the UvH Graduate School for PhD course work and was its academic coordinator between 2010 and 2022.

In collaboration with HIVOS (Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries), she founded and coordinated of the International Summer School on Pluralism and Social Change (2004-2016), bringing together scholars, activists and professionals from diverse fields of social change. The school was taught annually on rotating basis at universities in Utrecht, the Netherlands; Bangalore, India; Yogyakarta, Indonesia and Bloemfontein, South Africa.


Project Wokeness and Resistance (Comenius Senior Fellowship grant 2022-2024) This two-year project, lead by Carolina Suransky, involves research into curriculum change. In dialogue about "wokeness" and decolonialization of education at the UvH, students and staff participate to (a) discover how they can, in terms of philosopher Mouffe (2013), work together as agonists, rather than distrustful antagonists. In dialogues and workshops they aim to (b) translate difficult issues into curriculum revision, taking into account diverse views. Part of the process is an international dialogue with South African students and staff, to gain more insight into the importance of historical- and social-political contexts in comparative perspective.

Project Diamonds on the Soles of our Feet (University of the Western Cape). In this project in the South African province of Limpopo, I serve as research associate and member of the Advisory Board Diamonds on the Soles of our Feet - YouTube   (2022 – present)

 Project Maison d'Ateliers (with the French collective S-Composition). This project brings together philosophy and education in the era of the Anthropocene/ecological crises. With Henk Manschot, Chloé Latour and Jean-Pierre Seyvos, I recently started collaborating on how to convert Bruno Latour's philosophy into educational arrangements for local communities, groups and schools. First workshops were conducted in July 2023 in the Summer school L’ Université des Terrestres, Cornillon-en-Trièves, France and the Summer school from the European University for Transition, Campus de la Transition, Forges, France. 


Articles in international and Dutch academic journals

Goldin, J and Suransky, C (2023, submitted, under review) Citizen Science and Decolonizing Education in: Globalization, Societies and Education (ISSN: 1476-7724 Online: 1476-7732)

Deanne Boisvert and Carolina Suransky (2023) “Connecting Better and Wider”: A Constructivist Grounded Theory and Situational Analysis Exploration of Community Resilience in the Anthropocene Among the Transition Network in: The Qualitative Report 2023 Volume 28, Number 8.

Ansari Khalid Anis, Suransky Carolina. Pluralization Challenges to Religion as a Social Imaginary: Anti-Caste Contestations of the Muslim Quota in India. In: Religions 2023; 14(6):742. 4

Goldin, J, Suransky, C and Kanyerere, T. (2023) Keep the Flow: Citizen Science as Agonistic Learning. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, 8(1): 5, pp. 1–11. DOI:

Elina Kuusisto, Isolde de Groot, Doret de Ruyter, Ingrid Schutte, Inkeri Rissanen & Caroline Suransky (2023) Life purposes: Comparing higher education students in four institutions in the Netherlands and Finland, Journal of Moral Education, DOI: 10.1080/03057240.2022.2159347

Jaqui Goldin, Wouter Grove, Johan Breytenbach, Carolina Suransky (2021). Taking Togetherness Apart, in Human Geography. ISSN: 1942-7786 00 (0) 1-13 Print Copy: Volume 15, Issue 2

Gaby Jacobs, Annelieke Damen, Carolina Suransky, Laurens ten Kate (2021). Reconsidering Humanist Chaplaincy for a Plural Society: The Implications for Higher Professional Education, in Journal of Health and Social Care Chaplaincy HSCC 9.1 (2021) 80–96. DOI:

Carolina Suransky, Fernando Suárez-Müller, Henk Manschot (2020). Draagvlak en Duurzaamheid, een politiek- filosofische beschouwing over deliberatieve democratie en ‘glokalisering’ (Sustainability and Public Support: Political-Philosophical reflections on deliberative democracy and ‘glocalization’), in Mens en Maatschappij. Vol. 95, Nr. 3, pp. 241- 271(31) Amsterdam University Press.

Carolina Suransky & Hans Alma (2018) An Agonistic Model of Dialogue, Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 31:1, 22-38, DOI: 10.1080/10720537.2017.1298487

Carolina Suransky, Froukje Pitstra, Lihlumelo Toyana ( 2017). Decolonizing Universities: Learning in Tension, in Dutch Journal of Gender Studies - Special issue: Decolonizing universities. Vol. 20, (3) 2017: 299-304

Carolina Suransky, JC van der Merwe, JC (2016). Transcending Apartheid in Higher Education: Transforming an Institutional Culture, in Race Ethnicity and Education, Volume 19, 2016 - Issue 3 pp.577-597

Carolina Suransky (1998) Portraits of Black Schooling in South Africa, in: International Journal of Qualitative Research in Education, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 291-301.

Chapters in academic books

Besigye, J.B. and Suransky, C. (2022) Forced Migration and Asylum Seeking in: Sims, K., Banks, N., Engel, S., Hodge, P., Makuwira, J., Nakamura, N., Rigg, J., Salamanca, A. Yeophantong, P., (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Global Development, chapter 46. London, Taylor and Francis pp.545-554 ISBN 9780367862022

Hans Alma and Carolina Suransky (Eds.) (2021). Verwevenheid. Essays over een verbindend humanisme. (Entanglement. Essays on Connective Humanism) Brussel, VUB Press.

Three chapters in this book: Hans Alma, Carolina Suransky Inleiding: Verbindend humanisme (Introduction: Connective Humanism) pp. 7-18/ Hans Alma, Carolina Suransky Hoofdstuk 1 William Connolly over Menszijn in het Antropoceen (Chapter 1, William Connolly on Being Human in the Anthropocene) pp. 19-43/ Henk Manschot, Carolina Suransky Hoofdstuk 2 Humanisme in de 21e eeuw: naar een nieuw kosmologisch, pluralistisch en verbindend narratief (Chapter 2, Humanism in the 21st Century: towards a new, Cosmological, Plural and Connective Narrative) pp. 45-77

Carolina Suransky (2020). Higher Education in a Globalizing World: The Challenge of Glocal Education and the Call to Decolonize Universities, in: WP Wahl and René Pelzer, (eds.) Leadership for Change. Developing transformational student leaders through global learning spaces. AOSIS publishers (29-54)

Carolina Suransky (2017). Humanistic Education for Teaching in a Globalizing World, in M. Wilson-Strydom, M. Walker (eds.), Socially Just Pedagogies, Capabilities and Quality in Higher Education, Basingstoke UK: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 109-128.

Carolina Suransky, Henk Manschot (2014). From a Human-Centred to a Life-Centred Humanism: Three Dimensions of an Ecological Turn, in Dale McGowen, Anthony Pinn (eds.), Everyday Humanism, London: Equinox pp. 125-137

Harry Kunneman, Carolina Suransky (2012), Cosmopolitanism and the Humanist Myopia, in Maria Rovisco, Magdalena Nowicka (eds.), The Ashgate Companion to Cosmopolitanism, London: Ashgate. pp. 387-402[1]Companion-to-Cosmopolitanism/Rovisco-Nowicka/p/book/9781138572478

Hans Alma, Peter Derkx, Carolina Suransky (2011). Zingeving en humanisering wetenschappelijk doordacht - de betekenis van een levensbeschouwelijke universiteit, (Rethinking Meaning making and Humanization in Academia – the significance of a worldview-based University) in: Hans Alma, Gerty Lensvelt-Mulders (eds.), Waardevolle Wetenschap (Valuable Science), Amsterdam: Humanist University Press, pp. 169-178.

Hilde van ‘t Klooster, Carolina Suransky (2011). Civic Reason and Cultural Legitimacy: Exploring Strategies of Civil Society for Pluralism, Pluralism Tool Kit no.1, Utrecht/Amsterdam: Kosmopolis/Hivos.

Wiel Veugelers, Carolina Suransky (2006) Levensloop en Educatie (Lifespan and Education), in Joep Dohmen, Frits de Lange (eds.), Moderne levens lopen niet vanzelf (Modern Lives do not unfold effortlessly), Amsterdam/Utrecht: Humanistic University Press, pp. 167- 180.

Articles and chapters for professional – and general readership

Rasit Bal, Bikram Lalbahadoersing, Carolina Suransky (Red/Eds.) (2023) Koester de toekomst: Religies en levensbeschouwingen als bronnen van inspiratie in de klimaatcrisis (Cherish the Future: Religions and Worldviews as Sources of Inspiration and the Climate Crisis).

Carolina Suransky, Henk Manschot en Robbert Bodegraven (2023) Op weg naar Ecohumanisme (Towards Ecohumanism). In: Rasit Bal, Bikram Lalbahadoersing en Carolina Suransky (Red.) (Koester de toekomst: Religies en levensbeschouwingen als bronnen van inspiratie in de klimaatcrisis)

Carolina Suransky (2021). Humanisme en (anti)racisme. In gesprek met Anthony B. Pinn, (Humanism and (anti)racism. A dialogue with Anthony B. Pinn) in Waardenwerk, Amsterdam, SWP, nr. 84, 8- 18.

Carolina Suransky, Nancy Jouwe (2015). Zwarte Piet is Racisme - in gesprek met Quinsy Gario. (Black Pete is Racism, in conversation with Quinsy Gario), in Waardenwerk, 62/63, pp. 24-36.

Carolina Suransky (2014). Liberal Arts Education and Humanistic Studies: A Conversation with Martha Nussbaum, in Waardenwerk 57, pp. 37-46.

Carolina Suransky (2014). Can Pluralism be taught?

Carolina Suransky (2014). Amartya Sen’s Scholarly Work as Source of Inspiration for Humanistic Studies, in Waardenwerk, 57, pp. 11-15.

Carolina Suransky (2003) Zuid-Afrikanen bestaan niet. Nieuwe waarden in het onderwijs in post-Apartheid Zuid Afrika (South Africans do not exist. New values in Post-Apartheid Education in South Africa), in Tijdschrift voor Humanistiek 4 (15), pp. 58-68.

Carolina Suransky, Henk Manschot (2005). Patriottisme of Kosmopolitisme? (Patriotism or Cosmopolitanism?), in Tijdschrift voor Humanistiek 6 (21), pp. 62-72.

Carolina Suransky, Henk Manschot, Ireen Dubel (eds.) (2005). Global Civil Society, World Citizenship and Education, Amsterdam: SWP Books.


Decolonial pedagogies
Pedagogies in the Anthropocene
Social change in a globalizing world
Critical Humanism


Bachelor: Meaning-Making in Contemporary Society

Bachelor Thesis supervision

Master: Humanistic Practices in a Globalizing World

Master Thesis supervision
PhD Graduate School: Introduction to PhD research in Humanistic Studies; guided peer group learning

Lidmaatschappen en functies

  • Member of the National Governing Board of the Dutch Humanist League  
  • Member Editiorial Board of the Journal: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in the South
  • Member Expert panel on Reshaping institutional cultures to create a student-centered Higher Education system in South Africa lead by the Transformation Strategy Group of Universities South Africa (USAF)