I am not sure exactly when or where the term “Latinamericanism” (or, as
it is more usually written, “Latin Americanism”) originates. But its cur-
rent usage is almost certainly a consequence of Edward Said’s Oriental-
ism, which was originally published in 1978. Alberto Moreiras—whose
own book on Latinamericanism, The Exhaustion of Difference, I take up in
chapter 3—claims that the first use of the term in a sense coincident with
Said’s comes in two essays by Enrico Mario Santí from the early 1990s, just
as the implications of the postcolonial turn, cultural studies, and multi-
cultural identity politics began to percolate into the Latin American field.1
The first book- length articulation of the term that I am aware of is Román
de la Campa’s book Latin Americanism (1999), which I am indebted to in
several ways here—indeed, this book could be considered an updating,
or reframing, of some of its major concerns. There (with, however, only
a passing reference to Santí) de la Campa describes Latinamericanism as
“a community of discourses [about Latin America] that has gained par-
ticular force during the past few decades, mainly in the United States, but
also beyond.”2 Moreiras himself defines what he calls “Latin American-
ist reflection” as “the sum total of academic discourse on Latin America
whether carried out in Latin America, the United States, in Europe, or
The word Latinoamericanismo appeared prominently in the title of an
influential 1998 collection on these issues published in Latin America, Teo-
rías sin disciplina: Latinoamericanismo, poscolonialidad, y globalización en
debate.4 In 2002, the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at
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