About

“I consider the task of philosophy, faced with the conceptions of the world that men find in their medium, is not to confirm, but to annihilate them.”

– T.W. Adorno

“Esta es mi última transmisión desde el planeta de los monstruos. No me sumergiré nunca más en el mar de mierda de la literatura. En adelante escribiré mis poemas con humildad y trabajaré para no morirme de hambre y no intentaré publicar.”

“This is my last transmission from the planet of monsters. Never again will I submerge myself in the sea of shit of literature. From now on I will write my poems with humility and will work in order not to starve and will not try to publish.”

– Roberto Bolaño, Estrella distante

Welcome to Last Transmission from the Land of Monsters. My name is Juan Pablo Melo. I am currently a Ph.D. student in the Program in Modern Thought & Literature at Stanford University. On this blog I post commentaries, articles, or links relating to my interdisciplinary interests and ongoing research.

My project applies Critical Theory to the analysis of architecture and urbanism discourses and urban processes, with the goal of adding to the construction of a critical theory of society in the tradition of Max Horkheimer, T.W. Adorno, Jürgen Habermas, Axel Honneth, and Henri Lefebvre. Currently I focus on tracing the development and the ideological function of the discourses of “social urbanism” in Latin America, specifically in Bogotá and Medellín, Colombia. In this sense, I focus on these discourses’ practical and utopian import; their relation to modernist and postmodernist discourses of space and design; their role in the production of space in the context of a given political economy characterized by capitalist globalization; and their relation to social theoretical questions of modernization, rationalization, and governmentality.

Related interests include urban culture, Latin American culture and society, technology, literary theory, aesthetic theory, German Idealism, and the philosophies and social theory of Nietzsche, Weber, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Bataille, Foucault, Luhmann, and Mangabeira Unger, among others.

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