Antonia Carcelén-Estrada

MA, PhD, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Carcelén-Estrada teaches orality and literature with a focus on interculturality at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador. She is also a translator and an activist for the revitalization of indigenous languages and a sustainable future. Her academic interests include colonial and postcolonial Abya-Yala and transatlantic dialogues on political philosophy, cultural studies, art history, and orature. Carcelén-Estrada has published in the fields of literature, history, political science, and translation, among others, and has received grants from the Mellon Foundation in the United States and the British Academy in the United Kingdom. She has previously taught at the College of the Holy Cross and the University of Massachussets Amherst. SLC, 2021–

Previous Courses


Indigenous Literature and Translation

Open, Lecture—Spring

This course will revisit indigenous literature written both in English and in translation from various nations. Students will explore multiple languages through literature and expand their knowledge of indigenous epistemic and aesthetic traditions in this hemisphere and in the transpacific corridor. Students will be exposed to several literary genres, including short stories, testimonies, drama, comedy, graphic novels, and oral literature. No previous knowledge of indigenous literatures or language is required; students will learn the historical context of texts in order to better understand the implications of each aesthetic intervention.



Theories at Heart

Open, Seminar—Fall

This course takes political aesthetics, from the Zapatistas to Amazonian autonomy projects, as a point of departure to ground historical understandings of interculturality from an indigenous perspective. The course seeks to develop students’ critical skills as they acquire tools to talk about transcontinental political aesthetics. While engaging this aesthetics of resistance, students will be exposed to a series of critical theories that convey the depths of cultural memory—which is necessarily tied to a local indigenous history remembered in the community by heart. Students will read historical and literary texts from the 16th century onward, as well as secondary readings from recognized scholars interested on indigenous historiography. Thus, students can compare various indigenous perspectives—from the Amazon to the Andes and Chiapas and the people of Turtle Island—contextualized in each nation’s colonial long-durée.