Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Faculty Scholar Seminar

Democracy as Fetish

Ralph Cintron
Associate Professor, Departments of English and Latin American and Latino Studies
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
University of Illinois at Chicago

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 2:00pm

Ralph CintronAssociate Professor Ralph Cintron will be discussing his argument that the advent of democracy - not its classical versions but its enlightenment and modernist versions - can be described as the release of a politics of human potentia. The lecture will present some of the stalemates and paradoxes (antinomies) internal to political discourse and action, but more importantly it will argue that actual existing governance is what Cintron calls a "mixed system" in which oligarchic tendencies make use of the rhetorics of democracy.

Ralph Cintron holds a joint appointment in English and the Latino and Latin American Studies Program. His research and teaching interests are in rhetorical studies; ethnography, particularly urban ethnography; urban theory; theories of transnationalism; political theory, particularly the anthropology of democracy; and social theory. Research wise, he has been working ethnographically in specific Puerto Rican and Mexican neighborhoods in Chicago. Some of this work has occurred inside an alderman's office where the focus is on housing issues. Other work in these communities has been focused on labor, immigration, the transnational political and economic forces that underpin these neighborhoods, and the evolution of political ideology.

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