Cultural Emissions World: From Decolonial Thought to Roberto Esposito

Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk


SIP 2022 Society for Italian Philosophy Conference, Turin 9-11 June 2022.

ABSTRACT — In his recent address to the UN Security Council Ukraine President Zelensky asked, point blank, “Do you think that the time of international law has gone?” His questions keep rocking Europe as those standing by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine miss no opportunity to reiterate that a new world order is being made over atrocities not being committed. Europe no longer thought it could stand for a positive force, this is what’s rocking us in this war; this is why we are caught between two spectres supposedly of our own making – totalitarianism and principled action – both naming and shaming us, for opposite reasons, for our role in the world in the last five hundred years. The current silence on Ukraine by most champions of decolonial thought is quite chilling in this respect, as this special brand of silence chimes too precisely with pre-war positions publicly taken in support of the “becoming world order” of the BRICs – Russia and China in particular (Mignolo 2018, 2021). In my SIP-2021 paper I had been critical of Esposito’s apology of Europe (2018, 2021). Having been much rocked by recent events, I am reopening that chapter, in a renewed dialogue with Esposito’s thought, not because Europe may not be doomed, but because coloniality, as Mignolo himself once put it, doesn’t really need colonialism – all it requires is “a collaborator” (2015: xxxvi), and on this test much of the academic class risks to be proving to have been doing just that.
Period11 Jun 2022
Held atRochester Institute of Technology, United States, New York
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Decolonial Thought
  • Italian Philosophy
  • Roberto Esposito
  • Walter Mignolo