María Lugones, 76, professor of comparative literature and Latin American and Caribbean Area studies (LACAS), died in a hospital on July 14, according to a Binghamton University Dateline announcement.
The Argentinean professor earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Los Angeles and her master’s degree and doctorate of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Lugones was an activist and scholar who aimed to build coalitions among women of color through works like “Pilgrimages/Peregrinajes: Theorizing Coalition Against Multiple Oppressions” (2003). She focused on decolonial feminism, radical multiculturalism and oppression.
Lugones worked at BU from 1993 to 2020 and helped strengthen the LACAS program. The LACAS Program BU Facebook page posted on July 14 about Lugones’ essential role in developing their program.
“Our collective hearts are breaking,” the post read. “Strength and solidarity to all of María Lugones’ loved ones, students and collaborators. María directed LACAS, in the 1990s, leading its transformation from simply a major on paper to a vibrant transdisciplinary program. Rest in power, extrañada y querida [missed and dear] María. May your memory be an inspiration.”
Nancy Appelbaum, director of LACAS and professor of history and LACAS, tweeted her condolences to those Lugones impacted after finding out about her passing.
“María Lugones, a brilliant and fierce colleague, is gone,” Appelbaum wrote. “My heart goes out to her family, students, friends, collaborators and the many many scholars and activists the world over whom she inspired.”
Lugones was named Distinguished Woman Philosopher by the Society for Women in Philosophy in 2016. In 2020, she received the Frantz Fanon Lifetime Achievement Award from the Caribbean Philosophical Association on account of her work’s “groundbreaking contributions to decolonial philosophy/theory, feminist philosophy/theory, Indigenous philosophy/theory, critical gender, race and sexuality studies, Latin American philosophy and world systems theory.”
In 1990, Lugones cofounded “La Escuela Popular Norteña,” a popular education collective in Valdez, New Mexico.
Mona Kareem, PhD ‘18, a former professor at BU and an alumna, tweeted on July 14 about the loss of her professor.
“I woke up today crying to the news,” Kareem wrote. “Professor Maria Lugones, feminist philosopher, passed away last night in a hospital. I love you professor, I am forever grateful to have been your student.”
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