April 21, 2021

Decoloniality and the Politics of History

Columbia University

Design: Andreas Siekmann.

Design: Andreas Siekmann.

Design: Andreas Siekmann.

Design: Andreas Siekmann.

Design: Andreas Siekmann.

Design: Andreas Siekmann.

Keynote lecture by Walter D. Mignolo

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?

The conference is hosted by the Department of Art History & Archaeology and the Institute of Latin American Studies at Columbia University with support from the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art and the Society of Fellows at Columbia University. It is organized by Alex Alberro and Pujan Karambeigi. The poster is by the artist Andreas Siekmann.

Registration link


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

Panel 1, April 30, 11am–1pm EST
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, 11am–1pm EST
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, 11am–1pm EST
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, 11am–1pm EST
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, 11am–1pm EST
Threads of Labor
Verónica Gago (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Sociology)
Ana María León (University of Michigan, Art History)
Moderator: Reinhold Martin (Columbia University, GSAPP)

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