All translations from the Spanish are by the author.
Introduction: The Ear and the Voice in the Lettered City’s Geophysical History
1 See Jaramillo Uribe 1989; Silva 2005; Miñana Blasco 2000; Melo 2005.
2 See Hirschkind 2006; Seremetakis 1996; Rath 2003; La Tronkal 2010, among others.
3 Following historian Frédéric Martínez, I use New Granada only to distinguish it
from the independent country, and I use the term Colombia as the name of the
country even though this might not be historically accurate for the nineteenth
century: “The first republic of Colombia (known as Gran Colombia) regroups the
territories known at the end of the colonial era as Virreinato de la Nueva Granada,
Capitanía General de Venezuela, and Audiencia de Quito. In 1830 the Republic of
Colombia is fragmented into three republics: Venezuela, Ecuador, and the Repub-
lic of New Granada, which comprises the present- day territories of Colombia and
Panama. This name is kept until 1858, when it is replaced by that of Confederación
Granadina, which is itself replaced by that of Estados Unidos de Colombia. The
1886 Constitution reinstates the name of República de Colombia, which is used
until the present” (Martínez 2001, 31). See also Tirado Mejía ( 2007, 8).
4 Such a distinction, which assumes a passive nature upon which a politics is
inscribed generating as it were a humanly politicized nature, has also been
questioned, with a different vocabulary and approach, by the history of science
(Stengers 2009; Latour 1993), by recent developments in the anthropology that
question the category of nature (Escobar 2008; Viveiros de Castro 2010), and by
the “speculative turn” in philosophy (Bryant, Srnicek, and Harman 2011).
5 The historiography of the colonial era and the early postcolonial period have been
articulated by differently positioned scholars in deconstructionist projects in different
moments, giving rise to what has been controversially labeled as Latin American cul-
tural studies as well as to projects located outside of this purview in anthropology and
history. This is part of an ongoing history of debates on the nature of modernity and
of the colonial in the region. One of the debates of the colonial in Latin America
and the Caribbean that has gained more visibility recently in certain countries in
Latin America and in the United States has taken place under the aegis of what has
come to be called the “modernity/coloniality group” or the “Latin American coloni-
ality group.” For a summary of their trajectories and positions, see Castro- Gómez and
Grosfoguel 2007; Moraña, Dussel, and Jáuregui 2008. For a general introduction to
Latin American cultural studies in English, see Del Sarto and Trigo 2004.