Oral Presentation Session
Reviewed by: Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology
Of interest to: Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Students
Primary Theme: Race
Secondary Theme: Violence
While anthropology has a longstanding engagement with colonialism, both as a precondition for the emergence of the discipline as well as attempts at its reconstitution, there is an ongoing unwillingness to understand colonialism as a global cotemporary structure, rather than a historical moment (Wolfe 1999). Indeed, settler colonialism and its eliminatory logics of dispossession structure the foundation of contemporary societies such as the United States, Canada, and Australia, yet the ongoing significance of colonialism is often downplayed or erased altogether in a purportedly postcolonial era (Day 2015). This is particularly true in a Latin American context, given the distinctions between British and Spanish colonial regimes and the ostensible incorporation of indigenous and black peoples into the national body politic through the ideology of mestizaje. This panel situates colonial distinctions between normative European rights bearing subjects and non-European abject Others at the core of enduring hierarchies and structures of power across contemporary institutions and experiences within contemporary colonial societies. The papers analyze the ways in which material practices of racialized dispossession in colonial societies are contingent on historical hierarchies of race and how they produce new frontiers for capital accumulation in Honduras, Puerto Rico, and the United States. These sites become key vantage from which to apprehend signs and spectres of colonial pasts, presents, and potential futures. Collectively the papers seek to draw on settler colonial critique to rethink the racial logics of capital and its corollary, dispossession, on the one hand, as well as to reimagine anti-colonial and decolonial theories of change on the other.