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Postcolonial Lives and Modernities

Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

Extending beyond the cultural histories of the Greater Mediterranean, RLL offers an innovative and theoretically rigorous approach to the study of the postcolonial legacies of European imperial expansion, traversing different geographic areas that include Latin America, the Caribbean, Francophone Africa, the U.S., and southern Europe. The intellectual mission of this research cluster is to move beyond the ‘Europe and its Others’ model in order to explore the question of peripheral modernity and subaltern life in relation to the cultural imprints of uneven and combined capitalist development in the expansion of the world economic system. This cluster explores how the colonial concept of the modern translates into postcolonial aesthetics, politics, spoken language, images, and struggles for freedom. This scholarship bears witness to the relation between cultural representation and the afterlives of slavery, the modern and contemporary persistence of neocolonial discourses on race, gender and sexuality, the central role of critical race and gender theory, subaltern studies, and the legacies of postcolonial Marx(isms).  


Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

It therefore accounts for the intersections of ideologies of race and nation in Latin America since independence; indigenous and African diaspora studies; “race war” as a political paradigm; the shifting notions of the "public sphere" and of indigeneity in the context of globalization (indeed, some faculty members incorporate Nahuatl, Quechua, and Maya languages into their research and teaching); language contact phenomena in the context of U.S. (Afro-)Latinx identity and culture; south-south linguistic and cultural entanglements in contemporary postcolonial Patagonia; Latin American cinema, popular culture, and the post-independence cinemas of Asia and Africa; representations of violence and history in contemporary art and aesthetic theory; queer/LGBT Hispanic Caribbean (Cuban, Dominican, Puerto Rican) studies, U.S. Latina/o, and Latin American literary, cultural, and performance studies; gender, dictatorship, and memory; the intersections of peripheral modernity, pedagogy, and politics in art and architecture between the Americas and Europe; anti-imperial Revolution and decolonization; the critique of the aesthetic and political legacies of European and U.S. liberalism and empire, and of modern and contemporary peripheral forms of sovereign state-form and state terrorism.


Faculty: Alberto, Arnall, Bharat, Caron, Couret, García-Amaya, Henriksen, Herrero-Olaizola, Jenckes, La Fountain-Stokes, Langland, León, Nemser, Riccò, Sabau, Sanjinés, Satterfield, Verdesio, Villalobos-Ruminott, Williams.