Organized Panel Session
Decoloniality, in Latin American theoretical tradition, involves the excavation and engagement of alternative epistemologies as well as the unveiling of what colonial infrastructures and knowledges occlude. In transpacific studies, the decolonial, as Lisa Yoneyama shows, is often understood as deconstructing the military-imperial infrastructures of the US and Japanese empires. This panel acknowledges the importance of deconstructing imperial infrastructures but focuses on how more expansive definitions of decoloniality can be used to help theorize the transpacific, a geographical and conceptual arena that triangulates Asia, Americas, and Oceania. The panel also explores how these definitions can, to follow Yoneyama’s call, help formulate different decolonial practices rendered obscure by dominant transpacific cartographies.
How might our views of the transpacific change if we conceptualized decoloniality in the more broadly encompassing terms offered by the Latin American theoretical tradition? What would a “decolonial transpacific” look like beyond a U.S.-centric critique of imperialism? What does the decolonial mean beyond engaging alternative archives, beyond multiplicity? How does an alternative conceptualization of the decolonial enable different relationalities, which go beyond those of the oppressor and the oppressed, the colonial and the colonized, the guilty and the innocent? Finally, what might be some challenges or limitations of the decolonial transpacific? This panel invites alternative articulations of the decolonial in the hope of tracing multiple genealogies of the decolonial transpacific. Collectively, the four papers present transpacific decoloniality as a multi-centered engagement that considers non-aligned solidarity, cultural incommensurability, and queer and trans racial embodiment.