There is a saying in Peru that everyone has a bit of either “Inga” or “Mandinga” in them, meaning that all Peruvians have some indigenous (Inca) or African blood. But the descendants of the tens of thousands of black slaves point out that this oft-quoted proverb is not reflected in the country’s political and social life. Gonzalo Portocarrero, a native Peruvian and expert on Latin American Politics and Sociology, is set to come to HWS to share his insight into problems of structural racism in Peru.
Portocarrero will deliver his lecture “Law, Guilt and Authority in Latin American Politics” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20 in the Sanford Room. In addition to the lecture, the Inter-Cultural Affairs Center will host a dinner on the preceding night, Nov. 19 with Latin cuisine, culture, and music as well as conversation with Portocarrero. The conversation will be held in Spanish with the talk being translated into English.
“This event provides a broader perspective on the problems of racism,” said Jodi Dean, Professor of Political Science, who is hosting the lecture. “Racism is a global problem, with several specific histories expanding beyond the United States, and hearing a major figure in Latin American politics and sociology will raise the awareness.”
United Nations specialist on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Doudou Diène of Senegal, commented on the racist plight of Peru in an Inter-Press Service News Agency article by Angel Paez. “The Latin American countries have not managed to express multiculturalism in power and in government. The case of Peru is particularly striking in comparison with other countries. Here, there is not even any legal or political strategy to fight racism. There is an enormous amount to be done.”
Portocarrero was born in Lima, Peru 1949, and attended university at Letras en la Universidad Católica. Catholic University. Sociología en San Marcos. He received his master’s in the Flacso of Chile, and a doctorate in Essex, England. Soy profesor del Departamento de Ciencias Sociales de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. He is a professor in the Department of Social Sciences at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru.
The event is being sponsored by Intercultural Affairs, Latin American Studies, the Young Memorial Trust and the Office of the Provost.