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“Drugs, Violence and Latin America: Global Psychotropy and Culture”

February 8, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Joseph Patteson

About the presenter: Joseph Patteson (PhD, University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA) is Assistant Professor at Augustana University, USA. He researches narco-violence in Mexico, placed within an interdisciplinary global framework that highlights the interpenetration of cultural production and the problem of psychotropy. His work has appeared in Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos and A Contracorriente.

About the presentation: This will be a presentation of the book Drugs, Violence and Latin America: Global Psychotropy and Culture. This book undertakes a psychotropic analysis of texts that deal with the violence of drug trafficking and interdiction, especially in Mexico. While most critics of so-called narcoculture have either focused on an aesthetic “sobriety” in these works or discounted them altogether as exploitative and unworthy of serious attention, Drugs, Violence, and Latin America illuminates how such work may reflect and intervene in global networks of intoxication. Theorizing a “dialectics of intoxication” that illustrates how psychotropy may either solidify or destabilize the self and its relationship to the other, it proposes that these tendencies influence human behavior in distinct ways and are leveraged for social control within both licit and illicit economies. A consideration of a countercultural genealogy in Latin America provides a contrastive psychotropic context for contemporary novels that exposes links between narcoviolence and consumerism, challenging our addictions of thought and feeling about ourselves and our relationships to drugs and narco-violence.