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  • Nelson Maldonado-Torres
  • Chair of Comparative Literature
  • Degree: B.A., Puerto Rico; Ph.D., Brown
  • Specialty: Comparative race and ethnic studies, comparative critical theory, Caribbean philosophy, decolonial thinking.
  • Personal Website
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  • Address: Rutgers, The State University of New JerseyNew Brunswick, NJ 08901
  • Phone: 848-932-7606
  • Fax: 732-932-2041
  • Biography:

    Nelson Maldonado-Torres is a Professor at the Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies and the Comparative Literature Program. His first book, Against War: Views from the Underside of Modernity, examined the bases of modernity/coloniality in terms of a paradigm of war through the work of Enrique Dussel, Frantz Fanon, and Enmanuel Levinas. In 2011, the Universidad de la Tierra in Chiapas, México, collected some of his essays on decolonial theory in a book entitled La descolonización y el giro de(s)colonial. He is also co-editor of Latin@s in the World-System: Decolonization Struggles in the 21st Century U.S. Empire, and guest editor of two special issues entitled “Thinking through the Decolonial Turn: Post-continental Interventions in Theory, Philosophy, and Critique” in the journal Transmodernity.

    He is currently working on two book-length projects. One is entitled "Fanonian Meditations," which aims to spell out the epistemological basis of "ethnic studies" and related areas, as well as examine the relevance of decolonization at the epistemological, ethical, and political levels which continues the reflection on decolonial ethics and epistemology of his previous book. The other is “Theorizing the Decolonial Turn,” which provides a historical and theoretical overview of the "decolonial turn." Professor Maldonado-Torres is particularly interested in the crossings of different genealogies of thinking, and their appearance in different genres of writing, discourses, artistic expressions, and social movements.

    Dr. Maldonado-Torres has been Co-Chair of the Religion in Latin America and the Caribbean Group at the American Academy of Religion, and has served in the board of the Hispanics Group at the American Philosophical Association. He presided the Caribbean Philosophical Association from 2008 to 2013, and is one of the organizers and signatories of the initiative to create a Latina/o Academy of Arts and Sciences in the United States. He was Director of the Center for Latino Policy Research at the University of California, Berkeley (2009-2010), and Chair of the Department of Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University (2012-2015). Currently, he is member of the Executive Board of the Frantz Fanon Foundation in France, Honorary Member of the Fausto Reinaga Foundation in Bolivia and serves as book series co-editor of Critical Caribbean Studies (Rutgers University Press) and Global Critical Caribbean Thought (Rowman & Littlefield in association with the Caribbean Philosophical Association).

Education

Ph.D in Religious Studies, with distinction, Phi Beta Kappa, Brown University (2002).  Exchange at Harvard University—Spring 1996.  Certificate for Outstanding Work in Africana Studies.
B.A. in Philosophy, summa cum laude, University of Puerto Rico (1994).  GPA 4.00.  Exchange at Hunter College, C.U.N.Y.—Fall 1991

Research Interests

I am currently working on a book-length project entitled Fanonian Meditations, which aims to spell out the epistemological basis of "ethnic studies" and related areas, as well as examine the relevance of decolonization at the epistemological, ethical, and political levels.  It continues the reflection on decolonial ethics and epistemology in my previous book, Against War, by looking at the work of a variety of intellectuals from the Third World and elsewhere.  I am particularly interested in the crossings of different genealogies of thinking, and their appearance in different genres of writing, discourses, artistic expressions, and social movements.

Selected Publications

I. Books

  1. Against War: Views from the Underside of Modernity. Duke University Press, 2008.  
  2. Fanonian Meditations (In preparation)

II. Edited Books and Special Issues

  1. Co-editor with Paget Henry.  Special Issue on Lewis R. Gordon.  C.L.R. James Journal.  14.1 (Spring 2008).
  2. Coordinator.  Special Issue in Post-continental Philosophy.  Web journal: Worlds and Knowledges Otherwise.  Spring 2006.
  3. Co-editor with Ramón Grosfoguel and José David Saldívar.  Latin@s in the World-System: Decolonization Struggles in the 21st Century U.S. Empire.  Boulder, Co.: Paradigm Press, 2005.
  4. Guest Editor.  Special Issue in Caribbean Philosophy.  Refereed journal: Caribbean Studies.  Vol 33, no. 2 (July-December 2005).

III. Articles in Scholarly Journals

  1. “Rousseau and Fanon on Inequality and the Human Sciences.”  C.L.R. James Journal  15, no. 1 (2009): 113-34.
  2. “Lewis Gordon: Philosopher of the Human.” C.L.R. James Journal. 14, no. 1 (2008): 103-37.
  3. “On the Coloniality of Being: Contributions to the Development of a Concept.” Cultural Studies.  21.2-3 (2007): 240-270.   
  4. “La descolonización y el giro descolonial” [Decolonization and the decolonial turn]  Comentario internacional: revista del Centro Andino de Estudios Internacionales [Ecuador].  7 (2006-2007): 65-78.  Republished in Tabula Rasa (Bogotá, Colombia) 9 (2008): 61-72.
  5. “Post-continental Philosophy: Its Definition, Contours, and Fundamental Sources.”  Worlds and Knowledges Otherwise.  Vol. 1, 3 (Fall 2006): 29 pp.  (http://www.jhfc.duke.edu/wko/dossiers/1.3/1.3contentarchive.php).
  6. “Pensamento crítico desde a subalteridade: os Estudos Etnicos como ciências descoloniais ou para a transformação das humanidades e das ciências sociais no século XXI.”  [Critical thought from the position of sub-alterity: ethnic studies as de-colonial sciences or toward the transformation of the humanities and the social sciences in the twenty-first century].  Afro-Asia, no. 34 (2006): 105-29.  Also published in Spanish as “Pensamiento crítico de la subalteridad: los estudios étnicos como ciencias descoloniales o hacia la transformación de las humanidades y las ciencias sociales en el siglo veintiuno.”  Revista Interamericana de Educación de Adultos 28.1 (2006): 143-65. Also available on-line:  http://tariacuri.crefal.edu.mx/crefal/rieda/ene_jun_2006/contrapunto/contrapunto_art1_p1.htm
  7. "Césaire's Gift and the Decolonial Turn." Radical Philosophy Review 9, no. 2 (2006): 111-37.  
  8. “The Time of History, the Times of the Gods, and the Damnés de la terre.” Worlds and Knowledges Otherwise 1, no. 2 (2006): 12 pp.  (http://www.jhfc.duke.edu/wko/dossiers/1.2/finalTorres%20final%20response.pdf)
  9. "Frantz Fanon and C.L.R. James on Intellectualism and Enlightened Rationality." Caribbean Studies 33, no. 2 (2005): 149-94.
  10. “Decolonization and the New Identitarian Logics after September 11: Eurocentrism and Americanism against the Barbarian Threats.” Radical Philosophy Review Vol 8. No. 1 (Wynter 2005): 35-67.

Associate Professor, Comparative Literature