Decoloniality and Crisis

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A JCRT Special Edition, Winter 2014
Edited by Nikolay Karkov and Jeffrey W. Robbins


The attentive reader might ask: why a special issue on decoloniality and crisis? What is decoloniality, what do we mean by crisis, and why pair them together? The reason is simple (at least in our eyes): we see decoloniality and crisis as arguably the two key terms/processes/realities of our new millennium, which, tellingly, seem to have to come to fruition at roughly the same time. Just as the new century, certainly post-9/11, was starting to move away from the rhetoric of the “end of history” to one of a “clash of civilizations,” of permanent instability and conflict (i.e. crisis), so also an explicitly decolonial perspective was starting to gain ground, at least among radical academics and activists, primarily in the U.S., the Caribbean, and Latin America. The near simultaneous emergence of (in Walter Mignolo’s words) a “grammar of decoloniality” and (a new sense and dimensions of) crisis needs to give us a pause. Perhaps reading them side by side can be mutually illuminating, as in a sort of dialectic, whereby the mutual confrontation of the two realities adds further layers of complexity to each one […]

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