Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel
University of Miami, USA


In this paper I meditate on how to study colonialism in the case of the overseas insular territories, and what are the implications for the postcolonial and decolonial debates. I use archipelagic thinking as a lens that informs my conceptualization of the Caribbean, one of the multiple insular regions that have been conceived as overseas possesions. The argument of this essay is developed in three thematic nodes. The first section studies imperial and colonial representations of the Caribbean in maps produced between 1492 and 1800. The second section reviews two historical moments in which the Caribbean considers a multi-state project as alternative to the sovereign state, and I analyze the colonial and decolonial contexts that make possible and hinder these political articulations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The last section analyzes the colonial notion of the territory in the Latin American and U.S. American contexts.

Keywords: colonialism, archipelago, post colonialism, decolonial turn, territory.