University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Ricardo Vega Leon

Professional Title: 

Graduate Student

Office: 

Thompson 716

Email: 

Degree: 

B.A., Universidad de los Andes (Colombia), 2017

Bio: 

My research is about, as well as located in, the intersections of German critical theory (Hegel, Marx and the Frankfurt School), decolonial thought, Latin American political thought, universalism and theories of capitalism and colonialism in the history of political thought. In a broader sense, my interests and influences comprehend black political thought, Afro-Caribbean and Africana political thought, political theology, democratic theory, political ecology and theories of science and politics. I have researched the latter in the political theories of Herbert Marcuse and Bruno Latour.

My current main research project is an interpretation of the Frankfurt School in relation to decolonial thought. I argue that the German critical theorists have political-theoretical spaces to critique modernity/coloniality and to theorize decoloniality, so that they cannot be dismissed due to their Eurocentrism but need to be creolized. I engage in this manner with Theodor Adorno's and Max Horkheimer's theory of the Enlightenment as a myth, Walter Benjamin's theory of modern, capitalist violence, and Herbert Marcuse's dialectic of the "Third World" and theory of one-dimensionality in the "Third World". I sustain that their political theories give insights to consider Eurocentrism as a myth, colonial violence and one-dimensionality in modernity/coloniality and colonial capitalism.