Maria Lugones

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María Lugones (January 26, 1944 – July 14, 2020)[1][2] was an Argentine feminist philosopher, activist, and Professor of Comparative Literature and of women's studies at Carleton College in Northfield, MN and at Binghamton University in New York State.[3] She identified as a U.S-based woman of color and theorized this category as a political identity forged through feminist coalitional work.[4]

Lugones advanced Latino philosophy in theorizing various forms of resistance against multiple oppressions in Latin America, the US and elsewhere. She was known for her theory of multiple selves, her work on decolonial feminism, and for developing the concept of the "coloniality of gender,"[5] which posits that gender is a colonial imposition.


Lugones is the author of Pilgrimage/Peregrinajes: Theorizing Coalition Against Multiple Oppressions (2003)[6]  a seminal, highly-praised collection of essays,[7] many of which were originally published in Hypatia, Signs and other journals. Among the essays included are “Playfulness, ‘World’‐Travelling, and Loving Perception,”[8] which addresses the experience of navigating hyphenated identities from a phenomenological perspective.[9]  Lugones posits “a plurality of selves” that literally shift from being one person to being a different person, with each shift producing a corresponding new world.[10] In another essay, “Purity, Impurity, and Separation,”[11] Lugones introduces the concept of curdling as an intersectional practice of resistance that works against an oppressive logic of purity.[12] Examples of curdling include: code-switching, drag, gender transgression and multilingual experimentation.

In her later work, “Heterosexualism and the Colonial/Modern Gender System” (2007)[13] and “Toward a Decolonial Feminism” (2010),[14] Lugones turns her attention to coloniality: its impact on gender formation, as well as various strategies of resistance which could contribute toward its eventual dismantling. Combining Anibal Quijano’s theory of the coloniality of power with a feminist, intersectionalist framework, Lugones concludes that gender is a colonial imposition.[15] Drawing on historical examples of pre-colonial, gynecratic Native American tribes, Lugones situates gender as a colonial classification system that divides and subjugates people differently depending on multiple intersectional factors including class and ethnicity.


  • Heterosexualism in the Colonial/modern Gender system - Hypatia vol 22 no 1 (winter 2007)
  • Problems of translation in Postcolonial Thinking - Anthropology News. April 2003. With Joshua Price.
  • The Inseparability of race, class, and gender - Latino Studies Journal. Vol. I #1, Fall 2003. With Joshua Price.
  • Strategies of the Chicana Lesbian - edited by Ma. Louise Keating (forthcoming).
  • Peregrinajes/Pilgrimages: Theorizing Coalition Against Multiple Oppressions - New York: Rowman & Littlefield Press, 2003.
  • Impure Communities - in Diversity and Community: An Interdisciplinary Reader, edited by Philip Anderson. 2002. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • On Maria Pia Lara's Moral Structures - Hypatia, Fall 2000.
  • Wicked Caló: A Matter of the Authority of Improper Words - In Feminist Interpretations of Mary Daly. Edited by Marilyn Frye and Sarah Lucia Hoagland. Penn State University Press, 2000.
  • Tenuous Connections in Impure Communities - Journal of Environmental Ethics, 1999.
  • The Discontinuous Passing of the Cachapera/Tortillera from the barrio to the bar to the Movement - In Daring To Be Good: Feminist Essays in Ethico-Politics. Edited by Ami Bar-On and Aim Ferguson. New York: Routledge, 1998.
  • Motion, Stasis, and Resistance to Interlocked Oppressions - In Making Worlds: Gender, Metaphor, Materiality. Edited by Susan Hardy Aiken, et al. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press. 1998.
  • Enticements and Dangers of Community for a Radical Politics - In Blackwell Companion to Feminist Philosophy. Edited by Iris Young and Alison Jaggar. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1998.
  • Hard to Handle Anger - In Overcoming Racism and Sexism. Rowman & Littlefield, 1996.
  • Colonialidad y género - Tabula Rasa. Bogotá - Colombia, No.9: 73-101, julio-diciembre 2008

Further reading[edit]

Speaking Face to Face: The Visionary Philosophy of María Lugones (SUNY Series, Praxis: Theory in Action), ed. by Pedro J. DiPietro , Jennifer McWeeny, Shireen Roshanravan, State University of New York Press, 2019.

Editors’ Introduction: Tango Dancing with María Lugones: Toward Decolonial Feminisms of the Special Issue: Toward Decolonial Feminisms, Critical Philosophy of Race,Vol. 8, No. 1-2, 2020.


  1. ^ María Lugones (1944-2020)
  2. ^ Library of Congress authority file, control no. n 2003095190.
  3. ^ "Our Faculty: Comparative Literature". Binghamton University. Retrieved 2018-12-11.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Lugones, María (2014). "Musing: Reading the Nondiasporic from within Diasporas". Hypatia. 29 (1): 18–22. doi:10.1111/hypa.12073. JSTOR 24541950.
  5. ^ Lugones, Maria (2006). "Heterosexualism and the Colonial / Modern Gender System". Hypatia. 22 (1): 196. ISSN 1527-2001.
  6. ^ 1944-, Lugones, Maria (2003). Pilgrimages = Peregrinajes : theorizing coalition against multiple oppressions. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781461640905. OCLC 606972544.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ Mignolo, Walter D. (2011). "Modernity and Decoloniality - Latin American Studies - Oxford Bibliographies - obo". doi:10.1093/obo/9780199766581-0017. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  8. ^ Lugones, María (1987). "Playfulness, "World"-Travelling, and Loving Perception". Hypatia. 2 (2): 3–19. doi:10.1111/j.1527-2001.1987.tb01062.x. JSTOR 3810013.
  9. ^ "Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy".
  10. ^ Mariana, Ortega (2016-03-14). In-between : Latina feminist phenomenology, multiplicity, and the self. Albany, New York. ISBN 9781438459776. OCLC 908287035.
  11. ^ Lugones, Maria (1994). "Purity, Impurity, and Separation". Signs. 19 (2): 458–479. doi:10.1086/494893. JSTOR 3174808.
  12. ^ Garry, Ann (2012-03-14). "Who is Included?Intersectionality, Metaphors, and the Multiplicity of Gender". Who Is Included?: Intersectionality, Metaphors, and the Multiplicity of Gender. Oxford University Press. pp. 493–530. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199855469.003.0019. ISBN 9780199932788.
  13. ^ Lugones, Maria (2006-11-29). "Heterosexualism and the Colonial / Modern Gender System". Hypatia. 22 (1): 186–209. doi:10.1353/hyp.2006.0067. ISSN 1527-2001.
  14. ^ Lugones, Marìa (2010-10-01). "Toward a Decolonial Feminism". Hypatia. 25 (4): 742–759. doi:10.1111/j.1527-2001.2010.01137.x. ISSN 1527-2001.
  15. ^ Giraldo, Isis (2016). "SAGE Journals: Your gateway to world-class journal research". Feminist Theory. 17 (2): 157–173. doi:10.1177/1464700116652835. S2CID 147890023.

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