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"Fictions of Migration" book cover
March 2021
Ohio State University Press


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Fictions of Migration

Narratives of Displacement in Peru and Bolivia
Lorena Cuya Gavilano
Illustrated by: 
Adrian Portugal Tellier

Lorena Cuya Gavilano’s "Fictions of Migration: Narratives of Displacement in Peru and Bolivia" is an aesthetic and cultural analysis of how political and economic trends have impacted narratives about migration in Peru and Bolivia in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Going beyond representations of migrants as subjects of crisis, "Fictions of Migration" approaches the migrant as a subject of knowledge, examining how narratives of migrancy in the Andes have become affective epistemological tools to learn about migrants’ experiences, cultural roots and the mishaps of modernity that caused their displacement in the first place.

Through the examination of films and novels — by such writers and filmmakers as José María Arguedas, Blanca Wiethüchter, Daniel Alarcón, Claudia Llosa, Jorge Sanjinés, Juan Carlos Valdivia, Jesús Urzagasti and Paolo Agazzi, among others – Cuya Gavilano looks at the intersection of crisis, knowledge and affect in order to piece together seemingly incompatible images of migrancy. She explores how dissimilar images of migration in two countries with a common ethnic and cultural history are the result of differentiated emotional and social responses to the adoption and adaptation of neoliberal economic agendas. "Fictions of Migration" thereby shows Andean stories of displacement can serve as distinctive models to understand multiethnic national spaces globally.


Lorena Cuya Gavilano is an assistant professor of Spanish and Latin American cultures at Arizona State University's College of Integrative Sciences and Arts. She studies the aesthetics and epistemologies of migratory narratives. Her research focuses in Andean migrations, Andean visual arts and narratives, transnationalism, and contemporary Latin American film and literature.