Cultural studies in Peru: An experience from the Universidad Católica

Gonzalo Portocarrero, Víctor Vich

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva


The name Cultural Studies and its institutionalization in the university must not allow us to lose sight of the fact that reflection on culture is an old tradition, especially in a society like Peru's, so heterogeneous, conflictive and charged with history. The very fact of the convergence or clash of cultures in the sixteenth century fomented the consciousness that cultural uses and customs are not natural but must be understood in the light of history. Since the seventeenth century we have essays attempting to objectivize cultures and their (mis)understandings. These constitute a tradition of trying to imagine a viable society out of fragmentation. Garcilaso de la Vega and Huamán Poma are the founders of this desire to comprehend the other and propose just ways of living together. In the nineteenth century this reflection deepens, since now the task is to constitute a nation. Many will think that homogenization around the creole identity is the path towards modernity. Others will feel that the past lives on and gives form to the present, necessarily complex and plural. This debate about the country takes place in literature and in cultural criticism, in the works of Mariátegui, Arguedas, Vargas Llosa, Flores Galindo. This tradition is taken up by Cultural Studies which, as an academic activity is born of the dialogue between the humanities and the social sciences. It is a dialogue in which psychoanalysis functions to facilitate the encounter. This article emphasizes the immediate antecedents of the institutionalization of Cultural Studies and situates them within the framework of a necessary public intervention which characterizes this type of interdisciplinarity.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)141-152
Número de páginas12
PublicaciónCultural Studies
EstadoPublicada - ene. 2012
Publicado de forma externa


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