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Dancing Guinea Pigs and a Heroic Rottweiler: Animals, Culture, and Politics in Peru

María Elena García (Comparative History of Ideas and the Jackson School of International Studies, UW Seattle) and Tony Lucero (Jackson School of International Studies, UW Seattle)
Friday, March 6, 2015 - 7:00pm
Henry Art Gallery Auditorium

Animals in Peru, as in most countries, are an inescapable part of public life. We are interested in exploring recent controversies in Peru that involve both actually-existing animal bodies as well as representations of certain animals that serve as ideological vehicles for various political projects. In this presentation we explore what guinea pigs (cuyes) and a certain Rottweiler have to teach us about the politics of gastronomy, development, and race in 21st century Peru.

María Elena García is director of the Comparative History of Ideas and associate professor in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. She received her PhD in Anthropology at Brown University and has been a Mellon Fellow at Wesleyan University and Tufts University. Her first book, Making Indigenous Citizens: Identities, Development, and Multicultural Activism in Peru (Stanford, 2005) examines Indigenous politics and multicultural activism in Peru. Her work on Indigeneity and interspecies politics in the Andes has appeared in multiple edited volumes and journals. Her second book project, Dancing Guinea Pigs and Other Tales of Race in Peru, explores the lives and deaths of guinea pigs as one way to think about the cultural politics of contemporary Peru, especially in relation to food, Indigeneity and violence.

José Antonio (Tony) Lucero is Chair of Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Associate Professor of International Studies. A graduate of Stanford (BA, Political Science) and Princeton (MA/PhD, Politics) Lucero has also studied at the Universitá di Firenze and the Colegio de México. He teaches courses on international political economy, cultural interactions, social movements, Latin American politics, and borderlands. Lucero is the author of Struggles of Voice: The Politics of Indigenous Representation in the Andes, a work that puts canonical Western theories of political order in dialogue with the praxis of indigenous social movements. He is currently working on research projects on the cultural politics of (1) conflicts between Awajún/Wampis Indigenous communities and the filmmaker Werner Herzog in Peru (2) human rights activism, religion, and Indigenous politics on the Mexico-US border. He is co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous Peoples Politics (Oxford University Press, forthcoming) and co-author of several works with fellow UW Professor María Elena García (CHID), the most recent of which is their son José-Antonio Simón Lucero-García (future UW Class of 2033).

Thinking Animals: Species, Power and the Politics of Care in the World

7PM-January 9, January 30, February 13, February 27 and March 6
Henry Art Gallery Auditorium \ University of Washington

Presented in partnership with the University of Washington's Critical Animal Studies working group.

Animals occupy a paradoxical place in the world: they are everywhere, yet hidden. This course explores the histories, politics, and cultural dynamics of how humans see and do not see animals in the world. Bringing expertise from wildlife sciences, animal welfare, geography, anthropology, literature and political science, a distinguished set of speakers will explore human-animal connections in a range of global and historical contexts, including Renaissance France, contemporary Peru, and urban and rural spaces in the United States.

This series of lectures will be held at the Henry Art Gallery in conjunction with their upcoming exhibition by Ann Hamilton which will touch on themes of human and non-human animals. For more on Ann Hamilton and this exhibition click here.

Single tickets for each event may be purchased at the door for $20. The box office will open at 6:00 PM.