Pathways and Crossroads of the Decolonial Option: Challenging Marx and Zeus with a Rabo de Arraia

Glauco Vaz Feijó[1], Viviane de Melo Resende[2]

[1] Federal Institute of Brasilia, Brasilia Campus, glauco.feijo@ifb.edu.br
[2] University of Brasilia, Department of Linguistics, resende.v.melo@gmail.com

Abstract

This essay uses the expansion of decolonial studies in the so-called Decolonial Turn as a starting point to discuss a few recent significant criticisms against this project – notably those arising from decolonial feminism and counter-colonial thinking. The first criticism of the decolonial option refers to its rapid expansion, with a somewhat mythical portrayal of the Modernity/Coloniality project, thus risking the radical quality of initial ideas. Additionally, there is the pertinent criticism of the treatment initially given to the gender issue, which was not addressed by scholars considered to be precursors of this line of thought. Other powerful matters arose as decolonial thinking spread to different social science fields, including questioning the very possibility of criticism from academic circles. These criticisms generate profound reflections on this movement that intends to bring radical transformations to conservative academic knowledge production. Assuming that coloniality is constitutive of the present, we take these criticisms to look at decoloniality in the field of language studies. On that ground, we maintain that any epistemological breach must start from the contradictions of modernity. We believe that critical discourse studies improve understanding by situating intertextuality and interdiscursivity as inevitable aspects of every discourse, including academic theories and practices.

Keywords: Decoloniality, decolonial feminism, contra-coloniality, critical discourse studies.

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