"A surprising reading of an extremely important problem that surpasses previous studies of narcoculture and presents us with a broader image of consumer societies, their addictions, and the way narcography configures a psychic architecture of modernity informed by distinct cultural products and areas of knowledge."
–Sayak Valencia, author of Gore Capitalism [Capitalismo gore] (2010), and research professor at the Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Tijuana, Mexico
“Joseph Patteson has produced a perceptive cognitive and affective mapping of drugs in contemporary Latin American literature. His groundbreaking approach to the subject of intoxication opens an unexplored comparative route between North and South, cutting across habit forming disciplinary and generic boundaries that insist on keeping psychotropics, aesthetic experimentation, and drug wars apart.”
–Julio Ramos, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley, USA
This book undertakes a psychotropic analysis of texts that deal with the violence of drug trafficking and interdiction, especially in Mexico. While most critics of so-called narcoculture have either focused on an aesthetic “sobriety” in these works or discounted them altogether as exploitative and unworthy of serious attention, Drugs, Violence, and Latin America
illuminates how such work may reflect and intervene in global networks of intoxication. Theorizing a “dialectics of intoxication” that illustrates how psychotropy may either solidify or destabilize the self and its relationship to the other, it proposes that these tendencies influence human behavior in distinct ways and are leveraged for social control within both licit and illicit economies. A consideration of a countercultural genealogy in Latin America provides a contrastive psychotropic context for contemporary novels that exposes links between narcoviolence and consumerism, challenging our addictions of thought and feeling about ourselves and our relationships to drugs and narco-violence.
Joseph Patteson (PhD, University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA) is Assistant Professor at Augustana University, USA. He researches narco-violence in Mexico, placed within an interdisciplinary global framework that highlights the interpenetration of cultural production and the problem of psychotropy. His work has appeared in Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos and A Contracorriente.