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Storytelling Coloniality : Indigeneity, Decolonization, and the Politics of Radical Alterity in the Andes


Borrowing from recent work on political ontology, this thesis explores three different versions of "storytelling coloniality": an autobiography by fourteen Mapuche scholars that enacts a politics of knowledge through the production of their own book; an experimental ethnography that approaches knowledge through the notions of colonialism and decolonization that emerge from the ritual practices of Aymara Shamans and Apprentices in the Bolivian highlands; and a science fiction novel, set roughly in the year 2070, which enacts an "oral history of the future" organized around the logic of Andean thought. Produced and circulated within local and international academic audiences, these stories make visible contemporary legacies of colonialism, explore spaces in which alternative social worlds emerge and thrive, and problematize how alterity is envisaged, enacted, articulated, and aggregated within the context of contemporary global processes and power relations. As a state-led project of change, decolonization in Bolivia can be seen as the most recent process of liberal governance that seeks to manage forms of radical alterity. Yet, as these stories reveal, there are fundamental disagreements over the meaning and scope of the transformative projects unfolding in the Andean region, which underling the salient, yet difficult task of engaging with struggles for social justice--at once ontological, epistemological, subjective, economic, and juridical--in the context of liberal frameworks and modernist assumptions. By making visible other ways of imagining and enacting decolonization, these stories provide a different reading, or diagnosis of the present moment that I suggest is worth taking seriously in order to fully grapple with the meaning and scope of decolonization emerging in the Andean region today

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