“Decolonial” is a central term in the conversation among theorists who think from the place of the oppressed. Many women of color in the United States theorized racial and gender oppression from within in resistant relationality with people of color without necessarily using the term “decolonial.” The uses of the word considered here are interestingly connected, but importantly different in terms of where and why it is used. I will characterize these uses so that controversies around the decolonial, when they are about meaning, become clearer. In the case of Chela Sandoval (1991, 2000) and Emma Pérez (1999), as well as in my own work (Lugones 2007, 2010, 2012), liminality figures centrally as an in-between space where those who have been denied humanity and voice have a diminished agency—what I call “active subjectivity”—and exercise resistance. For us, the possibility of decoloniality is tied to those intersticial spaces, both unseen and hidden by coloniality. In each case there is a relation to colonization. In each case, “decolonial” marks or forms sites and methods of resistance to the colonization that dehumanized most of the people in the world. Aníbal Quijano (2000a, 2000b, 2007), Walter Mignolo (2007, 2011), and I share the idea...

This essay may be found on page 43 of the printed volume.

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