Susana Draper

Associate Professor of Comparative Literature
Email Address:
Office Location: 
124 East Pyne

Office Hours Spring 2017: Tuesdays 4:30 to 5:30 and by appointment.

Periods: twentieth century

Languages: Spanish, French, Portuguese, German (reading)

Research Interests: Contemporary Latin American literature, arts, and political theory; continental philosophy, Latin American Marxism and feminism, memory & human rights studies.

Susana Draper’s areas of interest include contemporary Latin American literature and political theory, memory and human rights studies, social movements, 1968 studies, Latin American Marxism, contemporary feminist practices, and prison writing.

She is the author of Ciudad posletrada y tiempos lúmpenes: crítica cultural y nihilismo en la cultura de fin de siglo(Montevideo, Amuleto 2009) and Afterlives of Confinement: Spatial Transitions in Postdictatorship Latin America (Pitt Illuminations)(link is external), 2012. 

She has just completed a book manuscript on 1968 Mexico and its afterlives: Constellations of 1968 Mexico: experiments on freedom and democracy (words, images, encounters) - Constelaciones del 68 en México: palabras, imágenes, encuentros. The book seeks to explore various ways of opening ’68 – through words, images, bodies, and voices – and investigate some of the ways in which the emancipation and reconfiguration of the political took place, during and after ’68. This involves bringing the question of emancipation to the realm of memory – a possible emancipation of memories of ’68 – and also to the reconfiguration of a series of movements that express the unique polyphony of the moment. Looking into how the ’68 effect is configured and how it affects certain practices of writing, visualization, and subjectivation, the book analyze ’68 as a gesture that not only destabilized politics and bodies, but also that instituted different forms of critical language, thought, cinematography, and pedagogy.

She is currently starting work on a new book project: Women philosopher activists -on care and prison abolition. The book departs from the question of how the language and history of Marxism has systematically excluded the contributions of women. Although their philosophical contributions have been erased from or marginalized within the prose of Marxist liberation, women have been active in thinking about, intervening in and renovating crucial concepts, such as accumulation, dialectics, care, domestic work, materialism, and liberation. This book focuses on key figures in women’s critical Marxism and the struggles of liberation in the Americas and South of Europe with the aim of tracing the ways in which their philosophical work has led to both the transformation of key Marxist categories as well as the creation of fields of struggle that materialized in different collectives of women in North and South.

Prof. Draper is interested in working with graduate students whose interests overlap with her own, including Latin American, Caribbean, and Spanish Literature and Cultural studies; Memory & Human Rights studies; Critical Marxism & Feminism; Literatures of the Americas; Architecture, Urban Studies & Spatial Theory; Social Movements; Continental philosophy; Postcolonial Theory; Political Theory.


Aferlives of Confinement: Spatial Transitions in Post-Dictatorship Latin America. Pittsburgh: The University of Pittsburgh Press, Series Illuminations: Cultural Formations in the Americas, 2012. 

Ciudad posletrada y tiempos lúmpenes: crítica cultural y políticas del nihilismo en la cultura de fin de siglo. Montevideo: Editorial Amuleto, 2009.

Collaborative book projects:

Jeremy Adelman, Susana Draper, Gavin Arnall, Teresa Davis, Margarita Fajardo, Martín Marimón, Iwa Nawrocki, Ana Sabau. Between Democracy and Revolution: José Aricó, Marxism, Latin America (an Anthology). Under contract with Historical Materialism Book Series - Brill



“¿Materialismo dialéctico o materialismo aleatorio? José Revueltas después del acto teórico del 68,” Por otras políticas de la verdad en América Latina. Pittsburgh: Instituto internacional de literatura iberoamericana. Edited by Alejandro Sánchez Lopera (accepted for publication, forthcoming 2016).

“Acts of Opening, Acts of Freedom: Mexico 1968 Other/Wise,” in Reflections on Memory and Democracy, edited by Merilee S. Grindle and Erin E. Goodman. Cambridge: Harvard UP.

“Cartographies of affects: undoing the prison in collective art by women prisoners” in Historical Geographies of Prisons: Unlocking the Usable Carceral Past. Edited by Karen Morin and Dominque Moran. London: Routledge, 2015; 127-144.

“José Aricó como lector de Gramsci” (co-authored with Gavin Arnall and Ana Sabau), in Gramsci en las orillas, edited by Oscar Ariel Cabezas. Buenos Aires: La Cebra, 141- 170.

 “Hegemonía, poder dual, post-hegemonía -las derivas del concepto.” Post-hegemonía. El final de un paradigma político de la filosofía en América Latina.  Edited by Rodrigo Castro Orellana. Madrid: Editorial Biblioteca Nueva, 2015; 93-112.

“Within the horizon of an actuality: the State and the commons in the eternal return of communism.” Special issue: Communist Currents, edited by Jody Dean and Bruno Bosteels. South Atlantic Quarterly 113.4 (Fall 2014): 807-820.

“Against depolitization: Prison-museums, escape memories, and the place of rights.” Memory Studies 8.1 (2014): 62-74.

“. . . demanding the impossible . . . Literature and Political Imagination (1968 in the 1990s).” NonSite - The Latin American Issue, 13 (2014).

“Victimes du souvenir et de l´oubli. Oblivion et la possibilité de déconstruire les processus de victimisation,” Témoigner. Entre Histoire et Mémoire 118 (2014): 121-127.

“Continuar el 68 por otros ‘medios’ - arquitectónica y óptica de poder en la cárcel de Lecumberri (Historia de un documento, 1971),” Efectos de imagen: ¿qué fue y qué es el cine militante? Edited by Oscar Ariel Cabezas and Elixabete Goicoechea. Santiago de Chile: LOM-Arcis, 2014, 65-81.

Draper Susana and Vicente Rubio Pueyo. “Making Worlds: los comunes o la práctica del encuentro”, in Teknokultura. Revista de Cultura Digital y Movimientos Sociales.10.1 (2013): 231-244.

“Las prisiones del archivo: pasado y presente de Lecumberri en Cementerio de papel.” Modern Language Notes 128.2 (2013): 352-372.

“Fragmentos de futuro en los abismos del pasado: Amuleto (1968-1998). Book chapter in Fuera de quicio: sobre Roberto Bolaño en el tiempo de sus espectros, edited by Raúl Rodríguez Freire. Santiago de Chile: Editorial Ripio, 2012.

“Making the Past Perceptible: Reflections on the Temporal and Visual Enframings of Violence in the Memory Museum,” Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society. 4.2 (2012): 94-111.

 “De cárceles y museos de la memoria: alas, itinerarios artísticos y encuadre de temporalidades.” Contemporánea: historia y problemas del siglo XX. Universidad de la República, Uruguay. 2.2 (2011): 183-202.

Book review. “Juan José Saer’s The Sixty-Five Years of Washington.” Special Issue: Cuba Inside and Out. America's Society 82 (2011): 180-181.

“The Business of Memory: Reconstructing Torture Centers as Shopping Malls and Tourist Sites.” Book chapter in Accounting for Violence: Marketing Memory in Latin America, edited by Leigh A. Payne and Ksenija Bilbija. Durham: Duke University Press, 2011; 127-150.

“The Question of Awakening in Post-Dictatorship Chile: Reading Walter Benjamin with Diamela Eltit,” Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture, special issue on Walter Benjamin in Latin America. 32.1 (2010): 87-116.

“Spatial Juxtaposition and Temporal Imagery in Postdictatorship Literature.” Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies. 18.1 (2009): 33-54.