10/13 | From Anti-Imperialism and Independence to Autonomia, Insurrection, and Self-Determination

Andrew Arato (New School)

Ivonne Del Valle (University of California Berkeley)

Juan Obarrio (Johns Hopkins University)

Moderated by Macarena Gómez-Barris and Bernard E. Harcourt

March 1, 2018 from 6:15 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

Jerome Greene Annex, Columbia University

We explore today the notions of anti-imperialism and of national independence that marked many of the revolutionary uprisings in Latin and South America during the mid-20th century. We do so as a vehicle to also interrogate more contemporary forms of uprising associated with the notions of “autonomia,” perhaps simply of “insurrection,” but also of “self-determination,” notions that have become more current in the last couple of decades.

Our inquiry will focus on the following types of questions:

1/ How does anti-imperialism, as one central dynamic of uprising, change the course of revolutionary practice? What work does it do to the modern concept of revolution?

2/ Is there something more to anti-imperialism than the fact that many of the regimes against which people fought in Central and South America were supported by the United States and the CIA? In other words, what is there to anti-imperialism that is more than merely the geopolitical context of the uprising?

3/ What is the relationship between these notions and the anti-capitalist and wealth/land redistributional character of these uprisings? Are the land reforms autonomous from the anti-imperialism?

4/ How have the social democratic forms of governing that took hold in many countries (Venezuela, Bolivia, Uruguay) since the late 1990s, that Macarena Gómez-Barris discusses under the monker “the Pink Tide,” relate to these goals of autonomy, self-determination, or anti-imperialism?

Anti-imperialism is not limited to the South Americas, naturally, and for this reason we have invited experts aswell on Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia on our panel. To help guide us in this investigations, we are delighted to have four brilliant scholars: Andrew Arato, Ivonne Del Valle, Macarena Gómez-Barris, and Juan Obarrio.