Northwestern Events Calendar


Lina Britto (History, Northwestern): Disciplinary Mestizaje:  Medicine, Literature and Ethnography in the Work of Manuel Zapata Olivella

When: Friday, February 21, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM CT

Where: Kresge Hall, Kaplan Humanities Seminar Room 2-350, 1880 Campus Drive , Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Cindy Pingry   (847) 467-1933

Group: Andean Cultures and Histories Working Group

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings


Abstract: One of 20th-century Colombia's literary geniuses, Manuel Zapata Olivella has usually been cast as a black writer, and his work as a tormented reflection on race and racism. However, an in-depth exploration of his personal papers, which are preserved at the Vanderbilt University Library, reveals a more complex and contradictory picture. This talk takes us to the archives to show us the young Doctor Zapata Olivella transitioning from medicine to literature and ethnography, becoming a celebrated author who navigated different media and registers, and leaving behind a masterpiece of interdisciplinarity in a life-long effort to decipher Latin America's mestizaje.

Lina Britto, an Assistant Professor, teaches modern Latin America in the Department of History at Northwestern University, and is the author of Marijuana Boom: The Rise and Fall of Colombia's First Drug Paradise (University of California Press, 2020). This talk is part of her second book project, which is tentatively entitled Healing Democracy.


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