Cfp: “Semiosis of coloniality and cultural dynamics at times of global mobility”, Echo. Rivista interdisciplinare di comunicazione. Linguaggi, culture, società.

“Semiosis of coloniality and cultural dynamics at times of global mobility”

Mobility intended either as departure/escape from the native place for political or economic reasons or as desire to conquer “new worlds” is deeply rooted in the human experience of all individuals and communities. In the last twenty years of the 20th century – while the Western colonisation of many areas outside Europe was excluded from mainstream discourse – scholars, theorists, and creatives opened up a discussion on the encounter/clash of cultures and powers.

Since then, the experiences of colonised, diasporic, and racialised subjects have been brought back to the fore by anti-colonial Caribbean scholars. Books such as Contrapunteo cubano del tabaco y el azúcar (1940) by Fernando Ortiz Fernández, Discours sur le colonialisme (1950) by Aimé Césaire, and Peau Noire, Masques Blancs (1952) by Ibrahim Frantz Fanon represented a departure from traditional and established Western canons. Therefore, a novel “discourse” was framed by Francophone, Anglophone, Lusophone, and Hispanophone artists and theorists (whose languages, together with Italian, have dominated the modern world) which developed along two different paths: postcolonial and decolonial thinking. Both had the same goal, to achieve epistemic decolonisation as well as political and cultural emancipation from the Western imperium.

Consequently, the postcolonial perspectives (mostly related to British colonialism) adopted by Edward Said (Orientalism, 1978), Gayatry C. Spivak (“Can the Subaltern Speak?”, 1988) and Homi Bhabha (The Location of Culture, 1994) as well as the decolonial perspectives (mostly related to Spanish colonialism) adopted by Aníbal Quijano (Colonialidad y modernidad / Racionalidad, 1991) and Enrique Dussel (1492: El encubrimiento del Otro. Hacia el origen of the “mito de la Modernidad”, 1992) are closely linked with the concepts of belonging, roots, nativism, and authenticity. This gradually led to the culturalist/translation discourse of “contact zone” (M.L. Pratt), centre and margin (bell hooks), hybridisation and creolisation (Édouard Glissant), “provincialising Europe” (Dipesh Chakrabarty), and the theorization of the poetic/politics of mestizaje (Gloria E. Anzaldua), “border communities” (Ngũgĩ wa T hiong’o), and (black) diaspora (Paul Gilroy, Stuart Hall, among others).

The forced exodus and/or the status of refugees (due to the “democracy” exported by Western powers in a context of globalism and capitalism) demonstrated that colonisation practices did not stop after World War II. Moreover, it showed that the postcolonial system did not implement real decolonisation processes either in the former colonial countries or in the former imperial countries; in fact, these processes were conceived and implemented in the context of the nation-state model inherited from Europe. This led the decolonialidad/modernidad group to propose a distinction between “colonialism” and “coloniality”.

ECHO invites scholars from any discipline and trans-discipline as well as creatives in the fields of music, cinema, literature, visual, and digital arts to submit a proposal. Essays may deal with literature, cultural politics, demographics, economics, cultural geography, social and linguistic phenomena, semiotics, epistemology, religion, environment as well as gender, race, and class in the media and the arts. The aim of this issue is to offer new comparative and transnational perspectives which may challenge the Eurocentric concepts of nation and continent, West and East, thus opening a new debate on the categories of world and planetarity.

Suggested topics and research fields:

Reworking of the concept/feeling of belonging in literary, linguistic, and visual narratives of creative residents and migrants.
The concepts of origin/root and here/elsewhere/now as represented/narrated in relation to race, language, nationality, religion, and gender by forcibly displaced individuals or groups.
Postcolonialism and decolonisation: the evolution of perspectives, practices, theories, and poetics in the languages of creativity, social policies, and “geo-body-spellings”.
Border-crossing theories and practices in the linguistic, visual, literary, multimedia, and transmedia domains, including studies on fashion/clothing, advertising, video art, street art, photography, etc.
Postcolonial representations and/or alternatives to postcolonial discourse on identity, gender, and sexuality, including transnational perspectives (in the fields of music, cinema, TV, and other visual media).
Connectivity and technology: impact of traditional media (radio and TV), smartphones, social media, and other ways of connecting to (resident) users, power groups, people “on the move”, and displaced individuals.
Economics: work and social security for diasporic communities.
Diaspora and power: production and evolution of arts and languages in contexts of liminality, (in)visibility, semi-segregation, and in-betweenness.
Beyond the limits of authenticity and nativism: the elaborations of the Afro-Futurist model in different cultures of postcolonial diaspora.


Abstract (500 words): 8 March 2020

Notification of acceptance: 30 March 2020

Article submission: 14 June 2020

Publication: 30 November 2020

Length of articles: max 7000 words

To submit an article write to:


Torna in alto