Agustín Lao Montes

Agustín Laó-Montes holds a PhD in historical sociology from Binghamton University in New York (20003) and is an Afro-descendant intellectual-activist of Puerto Rican origin. He is a professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts where he is also a research fellow at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and coordinator of the graduate program in African Diasporas in the PhD in Afro-American Studies. He has published several books and a large number of articles on topics such as Globalization, Social Movements, Urban Question, Ethno-Racial Identities and Racism, Critical Caribbean and Afrodiasporic Thought, Decolonial Theory. African Studies and Intercultural Education. He is an activist in a diversity of areas including the Social Forum processes and Afro-descendant networks in the Americas. He is a member of the coordinating committee of the Regional Afrodescendant Articulation in the Americas and the Caribbean (Articulación Regional Afrodescendiente en las Américas y el Caribe-ARAAC). He is linked to doctoral programs at the Universidad del Externado in Bogota and the Universidad Simon Bolivar in Barranquilla. He has been Visiting Professor at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO)-Quito; Universidad del Valle, Cali; Universidad de Antioquia; Universidad Federal de Bahia, Universidad Federal de Rio de Janeiro, and Universidad de Puerto Rico, among others. He has offered lectures at universities in Latin America, Africa, Asia, USA and Europe.




2024 (in press, with Juliana Goes & Jorge Daniel Vasquez). Du Bois on Latin America and the Caribbean: Trans-American Pan-Africanism and Global Sociology. State University of New York Press.

2020. Contrapunteos Diasporicos. Cartografias Politicas de Nuestra Afroamerica. Universidad del Externado.

2017 (with Sonia Alvarez et al, eds.). Beyond Civil Society: Activism, Participation, and Protest in Latin America. Duke University Press.

2012. Descolonialidad del poder, crisis de la civilización occidental capitalista, y movimientos antisistemicos. Universidad de la Tierra, Chiapas.

2010 (with Claudia Mosquera & Cesar Rodriguez Garavito). Debates sobre Racismo y Politica Racial en las Américas Negras. Universidad Nacional de Colombia

2007 (with Nancy Mirabal, eds.). Technofuturos: Critical Interventions on Latina/o Studies. Lexington Books.

2001 (with Arlene Davila, eds.) Mambo Montage: The Latinization of New York City. Columbia University Press.


Journal articles and book chapters (selection):

2024 (in press). “Beyond Binaries: Genealogies of Mestizaje and Mulataje in Amefrica Ladina”. En Mabel Moraña and Miguel Valerio, eds.: Race in Latin America. Routledge.

2024. “De la Coroncrisis a la Primavera de Ébano: Cultivando y Creolizando Ubuntu en la Dialéctica de Eros y Thanatos.” Resistances: Journal of Philosophy of History, vol 3, num. 5

2022. “For a Genealogy of Decolonial Feminisms: Living Archives of a Movement. A Review Essay.”  Hypatia 37, pp 582-600

2019. “La Filosofìa de la Liberacion y sus avatares en clave de Africanìa”. In Mabel Moraña y Jose Gandarilla, ed. La Filosofìa de la Liberaciòn en el Siglo XXI. A propósito de los 80 años de Enrique Dussel. UNAM.

2018 (with Jorge Daniel Vasquez). “Critica Decolonial de la Filosofia y Doble Critica en Clave Sur”. In Mabel Moraña (ed.) Sujeto, Descolonizacion, Modernidad: Debates Filosoficos Latinoamericanos. Editorial Iberoamericana Vervuert.

2016. Afro-Latin American Feminisms at the Cutting Edge of Rising Political-Epistemic Currents. Meridians, Vol 16, no 4.

2014 (with Mirangela Buggs). “Translocal Space of Afro-Latinidad: Critical “Feminist Visions for Diasporic Bridge-Building”. In Sonia Alvarez, Claudia Costa Lima (eds). Translocalities. Feminist Politics of Translation in the Latin/a Americas. Duke University Press.

2011. “Crisis de la Civilizacion Occidental Capitalista y Movimientos Antisistemicos.” Nexus: Revista de la Escuela de Comunicacion Social de la Universidad del Valle. Vol 3, No. 1: 230-300.

2007. “Decolonial Moves: Trans-locating African Diaspora Spaces” Cultural Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2-3: 309-338


Research project as CALAS fellow

Títle: Cracks in the Civilizational Crisis: New Political Constellations and Avatars of the New Progressivism in Brazil and Colombia.

Abstract: In this research I propose to make a contrapuntal analysis of the politics of the new progressivism, focusing on its ethnic-racial and sexual politics, and on the relationship between the state and black and feminist movements in Brazil. The project is a study from two angles, on the one hand, an ethnography of the state focused on the sexual and racial policies of the new progressive governments; on the other hand, a mapping of black and feminist movements, to characterize their ideologies and their repertoires of action, focusing on their policies of intersectional justice, their relations with the state, their political rationalities and their modes of subjectivity. The central object is to analyze the possibilities, limitations, and contradictions of the new progressivism in terms of its social effects-its capacity to promote effective changes in the equations of equality and intersectional justice, and the character of its relations with the black and feminist movements. This implies two main research questions:

1) To what extent do progressive governments have the will and capacity to promote significant changes that can effectively combat the intertwined inequalities-social, gender and sexuality, racial, territorial-that permeate Brazil and Colombia, thus opening cracks in the civilizational crisis?

2) How do the historical subjects that emerge in social struggles and collective actions in the face of the civilizational crisis in Brazil and Colombia define and transform themselves in their relations with progressive governments?

This second question assumes a general mapping of the set of movement actors in the country settings that informs our investigation of black and feminist movements, and particularly of the leaders, roles, and discourses of black women in both black and feminist movement spaces. The analysis assumes the strong themes of the CALAS agenda such as the debate between "progressivism" that proposes "the return of the state" and neo-developmentalism, vis-a-vis its radical critics who defend ecological horizons of "good living" by building power from the "territories of life" of society. I dialogue with critical theory and social research to raise arguments about the character of the civilizational crisis, and of the collective actions and subjects that compose the current wave of anti-systemic movements, to analyze the new political constellations, and to see the possibilities, limitations and contradictions of historical transformations for the sake of equality, integral justice, substantive democracy, decoloniality, liberation and good living.

Cono Sur y Brazil