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Gonzalo Lamana

  • Associate Professor

Gonzalo Lamana is an associate professor in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh. His research and teaching focus on questions of subalternity and indigeneity, race and theology, and meaning-making in the colonial period. While centered on the Andes, he also explores these themes through a comparative, cross-area, and time study of colonial and postcolonial dynamics. In his research, he uses an array of everyday archival documents to undo the authoritative effect of the official representations of Spanish colonialism and make them visible as such. To that end, he has done extensive work in archives and libraries in Peru, Spain, Argentina, and the United States.

His forthcoming book, provisionally titled How “Indians” Think: Amerindian intellectual activists and the origins of critical race theory, offers a novel interpretation of the works of the two most important Amerindian intellectuals in colonial Peru, Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala and Garcilaso de la Vega, el Inca. Building on but also departing from the predominant scholarly position that views Indian-Spanish relations through ethnic or cultural lenses, the book argues that the thinkers in question were the pioneers of critical race theory in the Americas. They were the first indigenous activist intellectuals whose texts aimed to alter how colonial actors saw each other and, as a result, to change the world in which they lived. That is, Garcilaso de la Vega and Guaman Poma de Ayala belong to the same tradition—and are the forerunners—of figures like W.E.B. Du Bois, James Baldwin, or Gerald Vizenor. Their understanding of colonial discrimination and inequality, and the post-racial imaginaries they developed 400 years ago, continue to be relevant to the study of today’s Latin American societies.


  • PhD, Duke University
  • Licenciatura, Universidad de Buenos Aires

Selected Publications

  • 2016  Colonialidad y teología en la obra de Guaman Poma de Ayala. In: Catherine Poupeney Hart et al. (eds.), El Perú en su historia. Fracturas y persistencias, 149-166. Paris: Editions Le Manuscript.
  • 2016  Signifyin(g), Double Consciousness, and Coloniality: The Comentarios as Theory of Practice and Political Project. In: Sarah Castro-Klarén et al. (eds.), Garcilaso de la Vega in Dialogue with Today’s World-Making, 297-315. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh University Press.
  • 2015  “Conocimiento de dios y razón natural, historia local y universal en la Nueva corónica y buen gobierno de Guama Poma de Ayala". Revista de crítica literaria latinoamericana, 80(2): 103-116.
  • 2012. Pensamiento colonial critico: Textos y actos de Polo Ondegardo. Lima-Cuzco: Instituo Frances de Estudios Andinos-Centro Bartolome de Las Casas.
  • 2010.“What Makes a Story Amusing: Magic, Occidentalism, and Overfetishization in a Colonial Setting."  Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies 19(1): 87-102.
  • 2008. Domination without Dominance. Inca-Spanish Encounters in Early Colonial Peru. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • 2008. “Of Books, Popes, and Huacas; or, the Dilemmas of Being Christian.” In Margaret R. Greer et al. (eds.), Rereading the Black Legend: The Discourses of Racial Difference in the Renaissance Empires, 117-49. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  • 2005. “Beyond Exotization and Likeness: Alterity and the Production of Sense in a Colonial Encounter.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 47(1):4-39.