Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Interview with Vicente Lecuna

Interview with Vicente Lecuna, Craig M. Cogut Visiting Professor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (Spring 2018)

Vicente Lecuna joined the Literature Department of the Universidad Central de Venezuela in 1997, just after completing a PhD in Latin American Literature at the University of Pittsburgh. Lecuna is the author of La ciudad Letrada en el planeta electrónico and co-author of Laberintos del poder, and Lenguajes de la crítica. He researches and publishes on topics ranging from populism and violence to urban design and contemporary narrative in Latin America. He is a founding member of the Anormales del arte y la Literatura, a group formed by researchers from Universidad de los Andes, Universidad Simón Bolívar and Universidad Central de Venezuela. Currently Lecuna is an associate professor at Universidad Central de Venezuela, were he served as Chair (2008-2015), and the Executive President of the Board of Prodiseño, School of Visual Communication. He has been a visiting professor at Universidad de Los Andes and Rice University. In 2015 he was appointed Cisneros Visiting Scholar at the David Rockefeller Centre for Latin American Studies, Harvard University.

Since 2015 Lecuna’s research project concentrates on the construction of space, specifically on the architecture of the Venezuelan violent state through Parque Central, a massive residential and commercial complex built in downtown Caracas in the 1970s. Focusing on cultural production such as literature, photography, visual artwork, film, music, and theater that relate to or represent Parque Central, Lecuna shows that this particular complex functions as a living symbol of state-sponsored middle-class creation. As a heterotopia, Parque Central can be characterized by an amnesic illusion for isolation and the denial of Caracas’s past and current cultural reality.