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Reading: Debris and Poetry: A Critique of Violence and Neoliberalism in the Peruvian Eighties

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Research Article

Debris and Poetry: A Critique of Violence and Neoliberalism in the Peruvian Eighties

Author:

Olga Cristina Rodriguez-Ulloa

Lafayette College , US
About Olga
Prof. Rodríguez-Ulloa specializes on contemporary Latin American culture and literature, with emphasis on the Andean region, with a decolonial feminist approach. She is currently writing about the intersection of race, sex and violence in contemporary Peruvian culture. Her teaching interests include visual culture, non-fiction literature and film, interdisciplinary studies.
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Abstract

By turning the figure of the colonial chronicler Felipe Guamán Poma de Ayala into an indigenous migrant during the tumultuous nineteen eighties in the poem “His Body Was an Island of Debris” (1987), Domingo de Ramos critiqued the transhistorical nature of colonialism, as it manifests through the displacement and killing of thousands of indigenous peoples. I interpret de Ramos’ work as an opportunity to center ideas about race, an analytic overlooked in the literary criticism of the time. His portrayal of migration mobilizes a poetic critique of the main discourses of Peruvian literary studies that conveniently left racial hierarchies unchallenged, even while being invested in the new political potential of migrants. This specular relationship that de Ramos creates between himself and Guamán Poma allows him to ponder about his own positionality in the literary field of the eighties, which was uncritically participating in the migrant trend almost exclusively through De Ramos’ personae.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.26824/lalr.158
How to Cite: Rodriguez-Ulloa, O.C., 2020. Debris and Poetry: A Critique of Violence and Neoliberalism in the Peruvian Eighties. Latin American Literary Review, 47(94). DOI: http://doi.org/10.26824/lalr.158
Published on 16 Jun 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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