The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Ricardo Vega Leon

Professional Title: 

Graduate Student

Office: 

Thompson 712

Email: 

Degree: 

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

Bio: 

My research is in the political theory of empire and colonialism. I focus on colonial capitalism in the history of political thought and the historicity of Critical Theory in relation to colonialism. I am interested in understanding how imperialism and colonialism were thought as realms of colonial primitive accumulation. I seek to understand imperial political thought as a matter of dispossession, labor and exploitation, in which colonialism was central for establishing and reproducing the social relations of capital.

Moreover, I am concerned with how to conceive of Critical Theory in relation to colonialism. Instead of sidelining or authorizing Critical Theorists to be sufficiently critical by making them fit for decolonial theory, I argue that they should be interpreted historically. This means that I examine their political theories in order to understand their insights for a critique of colonial-capitalist domination and exploitation, but also problematize their Eurocentrism. I am currently working on a paper about Herbert Marcuse's political theory that, while critical with his Eurocentrism, highlights Marcuse's insights for a critique of colonial-capitalist domination by way of interpreting his reflections about the Third World.