Title: The “lame genius”: José Carlos Mariátegui and disability
Speaker: Paulo Drinot
Date: October 2, 2023
Location: KJCC Room 701 (53 Washington Square South New York, NY 10012)
At the age of seven, José Carlos Mariátegui had an accident while playing. Little could he have imagined that the accident would aggravate latent health problems, cause a limp and, in addition, set him on a life trajectory shaped by disability. Even less could anyone have foreseen that the child would become the most important Peruvian intellectual of the twentieth century. Described as the "first Marxist of Latin America", Mariátegui was to become a central figure of the Latin American left and the continental intellectual scene. Although much has been written about Mariátegui and his political and cultural work, the key role that disability played in his life has not received attention. This talk approaches this issue from two angles. First, by focusing on how Mariátegui's disability has been represented, both visually and in texts. Second, by focusing on his experience of disability, using a variety of sources, and in particular his correspondence. Disability, I argue, became a key element in the positive representation of Mariátegui by his contemporaries, by himself, and later by those who studied him. Mariátegui's ability to "overcome" disability became central to the value placed on his intellectual and political contributions. Ultimately, I propose that Mariátegui's disability was understood as the root of his exceptionality and inspiration
Paulo Drinot is Professor of Latin American History at University College London. He is the author of The Allure of Labor: Workers, Race, and the Making of the Peruvian State (2011) and The Sexual Question: A History of Prostitution in Peru, 1850s-1950s (2020) and editor or co-editor of several volumes, including Che’s Travels: The Making of a Revolutionary in 1950s Latin America (2010), The Great Depression in Latin America(with Alan Knight, 2014), and The Peculiar Revolution: Rethinking the Peruvian Experiment under Military Rule(with Carlos Aguirre, 2017). He was co-editor of the Journal of Latin American Studies (2014-2018). He is currently writing a biography of José Carlos Mariátegui.
Note on Accessibility:
This event is free and open to the public with RSVP. The building has a wheelchair ramp and elevator. For any questions or to notify us of additional accommodation requests, please email clacs@nyu..edu at least a week prior to the event.
Co-sponsored by NYU Department of History and NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study