The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Ricardo Vega Leon

Professional Title: 

Graduate Student


Thompson 518


Office Hours: 

Fall 2021 Wednesday, 1-3pm


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


My research interests lie in the history of political thought, the political theory of empire, political economy, and the politics of the abolition of slavery. In my current research I develop a theory of capitalist abolitionism, which was a political-economic project that sought to abolish slavery and reproduce colonial capitalism. Through an interpretation of Alexis de Tocqueville's reflections on the abolition of colonial slavery and the French Empire, I show how capitalist abolitionists argued for using colonial primitive accumulation in order to ensure Black labor as the supply of labor-power in the plantations. These processes of extra-economic coercion reproduced racial categories in that they enacted a racial division of labor.