Mathilda Shepard F'21

Mathilda  Shepard
Doctoral Candidate
Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
University of Virginia

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2021
Doctoral Candidate
Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
University of Virginia
Demilitarized Futures: Race, Ecology and the Politics of Life in Colombia

Colombian history since 1990 has been profoundly shaped by the twin rise of neoliberal multiculturalism and the post-conflict imaginary. "Demilitarized Futures" examines the cultural politics of Black, Indigenous and campesino radicalism in this context. Investigating the ways in which peace, development and the “post-conflict” have served as legitimizing discourses in the construction of the Colombian racial state, this project outlines a theory of “life politics” to account for activist writings, films and visual art that shift the critique of violence away from institutionalized definitions of armed conflict and toward the long-term human and environmental consequences of racial capitalism and settler colonialism. In addition to offering an original reading of contemporary Colombian cultural production, this project contributes to the cultural history of Latin American antimilitarisms and engages in broader conversations about the interrelated struggles for demilitarized, antiracist and environmentally just futures as they have been pursued throughout the Global South.