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Comunicaciones para la conferencia The West or the Rest? Latin America's Global Embeddedness in Historical Perspective

Convocatoria | Alemania - Berlín
Hasta el 31 de octubre de 2011
Comunicaciones para la conferencia The West or the Rest? Latin America's Global Embeddedness in Historical Perspective

La conferencia tendrá lugar de 14 al 16 de junio de 2012. Organiza: Latin American Institute, Freie Universität Berlin. Para participar con comunicaciones es necesario enviar un resumen de 250 palabras a la dirección cecitoss@gmail.com, junto con un curriculum vitae de dos páginas y datos de contacto. La lengua de la conferencia es el inglés. Se comunicarán las aceptaciones el 28 de Febrero.

Ever since the penetration of postcolonial studies in the social sciences and humanities since the 1990s, a widespread uneasiness or outright confusion has reigned as to how to insert (or not) the historical experience of Latin America into postcolonial paradigms. The issue that is at stake can be illustrated best along the lines of one of the classic dichotomies of postcolonial studies, drawn upon even by scholars intent on deconstructing such binaries, namely that between Œthe West¹ and Œthe rest¹. Does Latin America belong to Œthe rest¹, as other Œthird-world¹ countries have been conceptualized by mainstream postcolonial approaches to the subject? Or does Latin America¹s historical specificity foreclose the possibility of thinking about Latin America with the same categories that have been used to study Asia and Africa? These are some of the questions that this workshop aims to address.

In an older strand of historiography, Latin America was occasionally cast as ³the extreme West² (Alain Rouquié), alluding to attempts to create a perfected overseas version of idealized blueprints of Iberian societies, which in the long run inflated and exacerbated, as through a magnifying lens, the inbuilt structural imbalances of ³Western modernity². This older literature, however, had been largely forgotten by the time postcolonial theory began to make inroads into the historical discipline from the 1990s. Sitting uncomfortably with the dichotomy between the West and the rest, Latin America has been largely ignored, or at best relegated to a few uneasy footnotes, by historians of other world regions indebted to postcolonial paradigms. Historians ­ perhaps more so than scholars of other disciplines ­ of Latin America, meanwhile, have for the most part remained reluctant to engage with what they identified as postcolonialism¹s unwarranted universalizing impulse, which in their view was ill-suited to explain the historical specificities of ³their² region.

The starting point of this conference, by contrast, is that Latin America can provide an instructive testing ground for challenging the West/rest dichotomy, which many historians identified with postcolonial theory, after all, have themselves sought to question. Our aim, therefore, is neither to point an accusatorial finger at postcolonial studies for their lack of attention to Latin America nor to Œrescue¹ a specifically Latin American tradition. Instead, we seek to create a bridge between postcolonial studies and Latin American historical trajectories. For this purpose, we aim at bringing together historians of Latin America who have critically appraised the challenges that postcolonial studies have posed for their work. More specifically, we seek scholars working on topics including, among others, alternative/multiple modernities and globalization, the condition of coloniality, hybridity/*mestizaje*, anticolonial nationalisms, empire and postcolonial histories, postcoloniality and gender.

Ceisal Redial © REDIAL & CEISAL. Responsabilidad editorial: Araceli García Martín - AECID (Madrid, España),
Jussi Pakkasvirta - Ceisal (Helsinki, Finlandia).
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