Stories of Decolonial Resilience

Kevin Glynn*, Julie Cupples

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


Many scholars, analysts and commentators have noted that the neoliberal conjuncture has seen the rise of a veritable explosion of discourses and theories of resilience. Some regard this discursive and narrative profusion as integral to the ongoing project of a neoliberal ‘worlding’ that seeks to reconfigure all aspects of human subjectivities and social relations. Meanwhile, the ongoing outpouring of neoliberal discourses and narratives of resilience is accompanied by the expansion of disasterscapes across the planet as we speed apparently toward what the Caribbean scholar Sylvia Wynter calls an ‘unparalleled catastrophe for our species’. Some of these expanding disasterscapes are emerging across the terrain of a five-hundred-year history of genocidal and appropriative colonial practices. The people and communities inhabiting these disasterscapes have been struggling to develop counter-praxes of collective cultural resilience and survival in the face of the many catastrophes wrought over the centuries by coloniality. We turn to Wynter’s concept of homo narrans to examine Indigenous praxes for the performative enactment of alternative genres of the human that contest the worlding of neoliberal discourses and apparatuses of resilience. Wynter’s contributions to the de-universalization and thus relativization of Eurocentric ‘Man’ aim to make the present proliferation of the genres of humanity, our storytelling species, culturally intelligible in ways that might not only undercut the work done by neoliberal discourses of resilience toward the production of disastrous consequences in places like Guatemala and the obliteration of our capacities to imagine the world otherwise, but perhaps even ward off the potentially impending ‘unparalleled catastrophe for our species’. This paper draws on our ongoing research in Guatemala, which involves Indigenous and poor ladino survivors of the 2018 eruption of the Fuego Volcano, as well as survivors of the 2005 landslide that followed Hurricane Stan.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalCultural Studies
Early online date13 Nov 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Nov 2022


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