ANN May 31, 2021

Entangling Art Histories (online, 16 Jun-12 Jul 21)

online / HCTS - Universität Heidelberg, Jun 16–Jul 12, 2021

Miriam Oesterreich

Decolonial Theory, Transculturation, and Latin American Positions – Entangling Art Histories

Organizers: Dr. Franziska Koch (HCTS, University of Heidelberg), Prof. Dr. Miriam Oesterreich (University of the Arts Berlin)
Global Art History, HCTS
Venue: Zoom
Date: 16 – 18 June, 12 July 2021
all times are CET
Conference language: English

Please register:

How do Decolonial Theory, transculturation, and Latin American artistic positions go together? In attempt to further entangle art histories, the workshop will explore Decolonial Theory as a means to critically re-think the set-up of the discipline. It aims to discuss how Decolonial Theory might nuance, deepen, or broaden resonating transcultural perspectives.
The event is affiliated with Heidelberg’s Chair of Global Art History and organized in conjunction with the Trans-Atlantic Research Platform Worlding Public Cultures: the Arts and Social Innovation.

Drawing on Frankfurt school’s critical theory as well as liberation philosophy coined by Latin American thinkers such as Aníbal Quijano or Enrique Dussel, the Grupo Modernidad/Colonialidad with Walter Mignolo and Rolando Vázquez among their members forged Decolonial Theory from a sociological perspective. It presents a procedural and pluriversal way of thinking that is fundamentally invested in questioning the “colonial matrix of power” (Quijano) by stressing that for colonized societies and cultures ‘coloniality’ remains a lasting episteme long after political independence. Pointedly stating that colonialism is the “darker side of Western modernity” (Mignolo), decolonial thought provides an epistemologically informed critique of the underlying colonial, imperial, and Western hegemony of modernity. It thus also allows situating Latin American post-colonial (art) history – that began for most countries in the region around 1820 – in specific and relational ways. With the term “aesthesis decolonial” Walter Mignolo and Rolando Vázquez among others have expanded the theory to include discussions on aesthetic practices as well as “other forms of sensing and perceiving” which prompts a series of questions that will lead the workshop:

- How can the sociologically informed theoretical approach of decolonial theory be applied and translated to study visual culture and art in particular?

- How do the methodological and epistemological premises of decolonial theory resonate, intersect or contrast, even conflict with those of transcultural studies?

- Does decolonial thought provide a tool to chart and more systematically address areas of research that have not been sufficiently addressed by transcultural studies, e.a. issues related with gender, ethnicity, race, epistemic violence?

- Where are the challenges, benefits and limits of drawing on an approach situated in Latin America, to carry forward a transcultural perspective relevant to art history?

- How can it help to further entangle art histories beyond the institutionalized Eurocentric or Western frames that continue to dominate and govern the way the discipline is taught not only in “the global North”, but often also in (former colonies of) “the global South”?

- Assuming that coloniality is intrinsically connected to the production and conception of ‘modernity’, we ask how the idea of artistic ‘modernity’ and ‘modernisms’ is entangled with coloniality?

The workshop aims to broaden our understanding of the colonial matrix of power that has governed the art production of the former Spanish and Portuguese colonies as well as Latin America and engages with their global entanglements since the early colonization to contemporary times.
It is structured around interventions by three requested scholars, whose writings, methodological approaches, and resonating positions will be explored in detail: Prof. Dr. Patricia Zalamea (Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia), expert in global Renaissance studies, Dr. Dafne Cruz Porchini (UNAM, Mexico-City, Mexico), scholar of modern Mexican arts and its international entanglements, and Prof. Dr. Rolando Vázquez (University of Utrecht, Netherlands), theorist of decoloniality and “aisthesis decolonial”. The workshop is conceived to bring them into a close conversation with transcultural thought as established in the context of Heidelberg’s Chair of Global Art History, held by Prof. Dr. Monica Juneja, and represented by the two organizers Dr. Franziska Koch, scholar of post-war artistic exchanges between East Asia and Europe and Dr. Miriam Oesterreich, scholar of modern Latin-American art history.
The event will close with a roundtable discussion featuring additional international speakers on July 12, 2021.

16 June 2021, 7 pm
Prof. Dr. Patricia Zalamea (Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá):
Renaissance Nostalgia and the Circulation of Artistic Practices in the Early Modern World, as seen from a Latin American Perspective

17 June 2021, 7 pm:
Dr. Rolando Vázquez (University of Utrecht):
Decolonial Aesthesis: Overcoming the Contemporary

18 June 2021, 7 pm:
Dr. Dafne Cruz Porchini (Universidad Autónoma Nacional de México, Mexico City)
Mexican Art Exhibitions from a Transnational Perspective, 1940-1952

12 July 2021, 5-6.30 pm:
Roundtable Discussion: Entangling Art Histories
Discussants: Dr. Rolando Vázquez (University of Utrecht), Prof. Dr. Paul Goodwin (University of the Arts, London), Prof. Dr. Brigitte Sölch (IEK, Universität Heidelberg), Prof. Joachim Kurtz (HCTS Universität Heidelberg), PD Dr. Fernando Nina (Romanisches Seminar, Universität Heidelberg)
Moderation: Prof. Dr. Monica Juneja

Please register for the events at:

ANN: Entangling Art Histories (online, 16 Jun-12 Jul 21). In:, May 31, 2021 (accessed Jul 25, 2021), <>.