Join the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies for their annual conference titled "Pandemonio 2021, The conference will feature a series of short, multimedia sessions including podcasts and live-streamed round-table discussions, as well as previews of audiovisual work. In each of the sessions, a team of two or three editors and guest editors of the Journal will offer samples from their own research and discuss current areas of interest with scholars, activists and artists from Latin America, Europe and the US.
Co-Sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU
February 8, 2021: Human/nonhuman: Decolonial Perspectives on Life on a Diminished Planet
This panel, part of the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies online symposium series Pandemonio 2021, asks about the challenges the contemporary crisis of the living unleashed by anthropogenic climate change, planetary metabolic rift and the ever-accelerating rate of species extinctions presents to the field of cultural studies and to the humanities more widely. What do the vocabularies and frameworks of disciplines predicated on the distinctiveness and autonomy of aesthetic experience, and thus also of its human subject of enjoyment and critique, have to offer in response to a process that appears to call into question its most fundamental assumptions? Is the ‘Necrocene’ –the ‘becoming-extinction’ of species and of ecological, linguistic and spiritual diversity alike– also a moment of anaesthesia, in the sense of precluding any kind of cognitive grasp of ‘the hyperobject’ or ‘the irruption of Gaia’, the presence of which has now become as undeniable as it remains impossible to represent? Or is this crisis, on the contrary, one that calls for radical aesthetic responses, which have the power to evoke what conceptual and analytical discourses cannot? In the contributions to this panel, we will return to the archives of de/coloniality, in an attempt to find in the critique of modernity’s colonial-extractivist matrix a point of departure for entering into critical exchanges with the ‘environmental humanities’ from the vantage point of the ‘epistemologies of the South’ (Sousa Santos 2014). The panel, moderated by JLACS editor Freya Schiwy (UC Riverside), will feature podcasts by Lesley Wylie (University of Leicester), Victoria Saramago (University of Chicago), and Jens Andermann (NYU), as well as a Q&A/panel discussion where they will also discuss their recent books in relation to an emerging field of Latin American environmental humanities. Literary critics and environmental humanities scholars Mary Louise Pratt (NYU) and Jennifer Wenzel (Columbia) will provide critical responses and commentary.