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‘Mapping Cosmos’ is a series of virtual events in 2021, that will develop academic debates on “cosmopolitics”, investigating the importance of this concept in relation to the emergence of new political subjectivities and social movements in Latin America. 

These events are generously funded by the Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS)

The notion of “cosmopolitics”, as formulated by Stengers (1997) and Latour (2004), seeks to overcome the separation between the natural world and the social and political sphere. “Cosmopoitics” are especially salient in Latin America due to the unique relationships held between communities and the land. This concept can be utilised as a way to decolonise understandings of nature, recognising the ontological and political importance of local cosmologies and “Earthbeings” (De La Cadena, 2015). In Latin American studies specifically, this notion opens a space to explore indigenous, feminist and relational ontologies (Escobar, 2002)  and to understand processes of resistance to new-developmentalist and extractivist processes. In the context of recurrent disputes over land and natural resources, interrogating the concept of “cosmopolitics” has the potential to redefine the notions of social and environmental justice, and to set important groundwork for the imagination of political practices based on decolonial understandings of nature and society. In particular, bodies emerge as key political objects and subjects that, in their relationship with territories, become a field of political struggle.

These events propose to theoretically and practically ‘map’ the experience of researchers and activists engaging with “cosmopolitics” across Latin America, and to build interdisciplinary, inter-institutional, and international networks for future collaboration. 

To get in touch with event organisers, email Chiara Chiavaroli (c.chiavaroli@lse.ac.uk) and Dr Rebecca Irons (rebecca.irons@ucl.ac.uk)

Cover image by Francesca Letizia Maetzke