This article explores how a local epistemology, comunalidad, could be utilized to restructure collaboration at the Instituto Superior Intercultural Ayuuk (ISIA), an intercultural university in Jaltepec, Oaxaca, Mexico. The ISIA has a core faculty of indigenous (predominantly Ayuuk), full-time professors and a large contingent of predominantly urban and non-indigenous visiting professors who teach combined in-person and distance classes. While the ISIA utilizes comunalidad as a pillar of its educational model, this has not been integrated into visiting professor collaboration. Comunalidad is a praxis-based concept that emphasizes reciprocity through five key elements. At the ISIA's request I developed a proposal on how to restructure visiting professor collaboration according to the university model. In the present article I draw on these initial suggestions to examine visiting professors' perceptions of intercultural education, identify three trenchant problems facing intercultural education, and suggest how comunalidad could serve to integrate visiting professors more fully into the ISIA's mission. I argue that drawing on locally salient forms of knowledge in visiting professor collaboration is crucial to constructing truly intercultural universities. Moreover, I aim to contribute to collaborative anthropology broadly by demonstrating how a local epistemology can be utilized to create more horizontal collaborations.


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pp. 184-206
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