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ACGS/ASCA Public Lecture | In the words of Walter Mignolo, ‘[i]f modern epistemology narcotized its own locus of enunciation and projected an idea of knowledge as universal designs from particular and hidden local histories, what happens when global epistemological designs enter in other, colonial, local histories?’ (2000: 123). Prompted by Mignolo’s question, and sited within the framework of Derridean thought on hospitality (2001), this lecture examines the successes and failures of Portuguese postcolonial literature published in the 2010s on the return to the ‘Metrópole’ that followed African decolonization in 1975 as decolonial critique. The colonial powers and normative regimes that these works attempt to subject to decolonial critique is more than an ensemble of political apparatuses, created and destined to rule individuals and communities from the top down. They are intent on articulating silenced knowledges – decolonizing knowledges on the ‘homeland’ as host.

Event details of Lecture by Ana Cristina Mendes – Decolonizing the ‘Metrópole’
Date 4 November 2015
Time 17:00 -19:00
Location Universiteitsbibliotheek
Room Vondelzaal, University Library (UB), Singel 425

Room Vondelzaal, University Library (UB), Singel 425

Singel 425
1012 WP Amsterdam

This lecture will address two works: Dulce Maria Cardoso’s O Retorno ( The Return, 2011) and Aida Gomes’s Os Pretos de Pousaflores ( The Blacks of Pousaflores, 2011). These authors’ loci of enunciation, i.e., the sites from which knowledge is created and articulated, are those of the South within the North. The focus will be directed towards examining these authors’ attempts at establishing differential loci of enunciation from the South but within the epistemology of modernity, taking Europe as reference point to question its cultural and historical specificity, as well as its assumed truth and universality. By addressing this complex, matryoshka-like generation of discourses that produce silenced knowledges about the world, issued from the South within the North, this presentation will be concerned with testing the limits of these authors’ critique of European modernity.

Ana Cristina Mendes is a researcher at the University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies (ULICES). Her areas of specialization are postcolonial and migration studies, with an emphasis on the cultural industries and exchanges in the global cultural marketplace. Her publications include the co-edited book Re-Orientalism and South Asian Identity Politics (2011), the edited collection Salman Rushdie and Visual Culture (2012), the monograph Salman Rushdie in the Cultural Marketplace (2013), a special issue for Transnational Cinemas (2015) entitled ‘Walls and fortresses: borderscapes and the cinematic imaginary,’ and articles in Third Text, The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Interventions and Textual Practice. She is currently co-editing the collection Victorians Like Us: Interfaces of Empire and Domesticity. Website: