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Indigenous and State Politics in Latin America: The Mapuche People and the Chilean Constitutional Assembly

Elisa Loncon photo and Common Grounds logo

Published January 24, 2022

Graham Hall, Brown Fine Arts Center, February 2, 2023, 5:35 pm​

Dr. Elisa Loncon Antileo, Mapuche activist, Indigenous scholar, and formerly the distinguished leader of the Constitutional Assembly in Chile, one of the 21st century’s most transformative political processes will give a public lecture in conjunction with the Kahn Institute yearlong project Common Grounds: Toward (Re)Thinking Global Indigeneity. The lecture will also be livestreamed.

Prof. Javier Puente recently shared what he is looking forward to about Loncon's visit, “As an Indigenous citizen, activist, and scholar, Loncon has had a distinguished academic and political trajectory, including - most prominently - leading Chile’s Constitutional Assembly and spearheading an institutional attempt to dismantle neoliberal capitalism in its birthplace.

"At Common Grounds, we expect to learn about Loncon’s leadership and role in guiding a nation and a state that historically targeted the Mapuche, her ethnicity, as a burden and an enemy for its progress. More importantly, we are eager to connect our ongoing conversations about the obliteration of hemispheric Indigenous identities and their politically, culturally, and socially generative capacities.”

Loncon will speak in Spanish with an English translator. Free and open to the public. Masks Welcome. For disability access information or requests, call 413-585-2407 or email


Born in the Mapuche community of Lefweluan in Chile, Elisa Loncon Antileo is a linguist and an Indigenous rights and languages activist. She holds a PhD in humanities from the University of Leiden and a second PhD in literature from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Currently a professor in the Department of Education at the University of Santiago de Chile, Loncon researches the teaching of Mapudungun. She is also affiliated with the Center for Indigenous and Intercultural Studies of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. In 2021, Loncon was awarded the René Cassin Human Rights Award from the Basque Government to recognize her substantial contributions to the defense of human rights and was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and one of Financial Times’s 25 most influential women.