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Decoloniality and the Politics of History

dateApril 29, 2021 timeThursday, 11:00am EDT locationVirtual Event
  • The Department of Art History
  • The Institute of Latin American Studies at Columbia University
  • The Institute for Studies on Latin American Art
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • Alex Alberro
  • Pujan Karambeigi
  • Free and open to the public
  • Registration required. See details.
Event title with stick figure holding scissors and a suitcase with smaller stick figures inside

Decolonization is the historical struggle for national sovereignty against colonialism. By contrast, decoloniality is an epistemological category that takes colonialism as constitutive of modernity. It seeks to dismantle colonialist frameworks of thinking and sensing, delinking from colonialism's habits, forms of life, and subjectivities. As an analytic, decoloniality concerns the reconstruction and restitution of histories excluded from the universalist frameworks of modernity. As a programmatic, it establishes a pluriversal epistemology.

This series of panels places the frameworks by which we produce historical knowledge at its center. Questions we seek to focus on include: How to address the colonizer/colonized relationship not as a universal binary but simultaneously in its global and local specificity? How to provincialize the West without ignoring the lived realities of its hegemony? What to make of the increasing problematization of hybridity and syncretism? And how does a decolonial framework help us understand the relations between socio-economic and cultural forms?

Keynote, April 29, 2021, 11 am – 12:30 pm
Walter D. Mignolo (Duke University, Literature)
Moderator: Alex Alberro (Columbia University, Art History)

Panel 1, April 30, 2021, 11 am – 1 pm
Mediating the Vernacular
Julia Bryan-Wilson (University of California, Berkeley, Art History)
Rosalind C. Morris (Columbia University, Anthropology)

Moderator: Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi (Barnard College, Architecture History)

Panel 2, May 7, 2021, 11 am – 1 pm
Indigenous Cultural Production
Elvira Espejo Ayca (Former Director, Museum of Ethnography and Folklore, La Paz)
Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz (Former Director, Museo Nacional de Arte de La Paz)
Pablo Lafuente (Artistic Director, Museo de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro)

Moderator: Alessandra Russo (Columbia University, LAIC)

Panel 3, May 14, 2021, 11 am – 1 pm
Politics of Hybridity
María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo (New York University, Social and Cultural Analysis)
Allison Bigelow (University of Virginia, Spanish)

Moderator: Pujan Karambeigi (Columbia University, Art History)

Panel 4, May 21, 2021, 11 am – 1 pm
A Hemispheric Lens
Alice Creischer (Artist, Berlin)
Silvia Federici (Hofstra University, Social Science)
María Galindo (Artist, La Paz)

Moderator: Naeem Mohaiemen (Columbia University, Society of Fellows)

Panel 5, May 28, 2021, 11 am – 1 pm
Threads of Labor
Verónica Gago (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Sociology)
Ana María León (University of Michigan, Art History)

Moderator: Reinhold Martin (Columbia University, GSAPP)