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Cultures of the City

Mediating Identities in Urban Latin/o America

Edited by Richard Young and Amanda Holmes

Publication Year: 2010

Cultures of the City explores the cultural mediations of relationships between people and urban spaces in Latin/o America and how these shape the identities of cities and their residents. The contributors to this volume examine identity and the sense of place and belonging that connect people to urban environments, relating these to considerations of ethnicity, social and economic class, gender, everyday life, and cultural practices. They also consider history and memory and the making of places through the iterative performance of social practices. As such, places are works in progress, a condition that is particularly evident in contemporary Latin/o American cities where the opposition between local and global influences is a prominent facet of daily life. These core issues are theorized further in an afterword by Abril Trigo, who takes the preceding chapters as a point of departure for a discussion of the dialectics of identity in the Latin/o American global city.

Published by: University of Pittsburgh Press

Series: Pitt Latin American Series

Front Cover

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Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Introduction: Mediating Urban Identities

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pp. 1-11

Beatriz Sarlo’s verbal snapshot of the installation of an advertising marquee on a building at the corner of a street in Buenos Aires is one in a book of snapshots (Instantáneas) that leaves little doubt about how much the city and everyday life at the end of the twentieth century were already...

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Havana in the Nueva Trova Repertoire of Gerardo Alfonso

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pp. 15-30

Havana represents a fascinating focus of study for considering notions of identity, uses of place, and processes of cultural formation. The city has always been a nexus of influences, developing along trade routes crossing the Atlantic, and serving as a site for the fusion of cultural influences from Europe...

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Last Snapshots/Take 2: Personal and Collective Shipwrecks in Buenos Aires

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pp. 31-45

In 1989, seven years after the collapse of the military dictatorship, a film with an evocative title was made in Argentina: Últimas imágenes del naufragio (Last Images of the Shipwreck), directed by Eliseo Subiela. Set in 1982 or 1983, but also reflecting the uncertainties and crises of Raúl Alfonsín’s mandate, it is...

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Buenos Aires and the Literary Construction of Urban Space

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pp. 46-58

The Buenos Aires locations presented in the novels El sueño (The Dream; 1998) and La villa (Shantytown; 2001) by César Aira—streets, buildings, businesses, and public spaces—are identifiable both by native porteños and by literary tourists finding their way with street maps in...

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Body Art and the Remaking of Mexico City

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pp. 59-72

The place of the city, and visions of the city, in the construction and projection of identities has a long and periodically violent history in Mexico. This chapter uses key stages in that history to approach work by Teresa Margolles, an artist who has grounded her critique of Mexico’s failed...

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Feasting on Latina/o Labor in Multicultural Los Angeles

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pp. 75-87

The symbolic production and consumption of the Other1—of minority and historically disenfranchised cultures—is perhaps most rampantly, yet inconspicuously, perpetuated in Los Angeles by style-setting nouvelle restaurants that cater to elite surveyors of multicultural cuisine. Such...

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Mediating the Public Sphere in Latina/o Detroit: Heart and Margin of an Embattled Metropolis

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pp. 88-104

Apart from the fact that, for nearly a century, Detroit has served as the hub of a sprawling corporate automobile industry with assembly plants and markets across the globe, it has rarely been considered a global city. Even less likely has been its identification as a...

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Textual Revisions of Identity: Nostalgia and Modernity in Asunci

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pp. 105-119

La ciudad en que vivimos (2004) by Juan Manuel Prieto and Postales de Asunción de antaño (1999–2002) by Jorge Rubiani are illustrated collections of articles published recently to celebrate the often neglected capital of Paraguay. Promoting local interest in Asunción, above all, these works...

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Northeastern Images: Recife and Salvador in Contemporary Brazilian Cinema

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pp. 120-132

When one thinks of cinematographic images of urban Brazil, Rio de Janeiro or S

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Performing Citizenship: Migration, Andean Festivals, and Public Spaces in Lima

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pp. 135-150

In the 1990s, political demonstrations were no longer held in downtown Lima, especially at the Plaza Mayor, which was not reclaimed by civil society until 2000 during the movement to bring down Alberto Fujimori. The absence of demonstrations reflected the control over the internal war achieved by...

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The TransMilenio Experience: Mass Transit in Bogot

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pp. 151-166

This chapter analyzes the case of TransMilenio, the new mass transit system in Bogot

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The Feria del Libro and the Ritualization of Cultural Belonging in Havana

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pp. 167-182

The concept of cultural revolution in Cuba since 1961, although far from uncontested or unproblematic, has been central to the post-1959 process of revolutionizing attitudes. The debates and tensions of that process have generated several outstanding episodes of apparent conflict (notably...

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Zapatistas in Mexico City and the Performance of Ethnic Citizenship

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pp. 183-198

In early March 1999, five thousand delegates from the Ej

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Afterword: The Dialectics of Identity in the Latin/o American Global City

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pp. 199-215

The chapters in this volume address, directly or indirectly, the problematic configuration (adulteration, negotiation, reinvention) of social subjectivities in contemporary Latin/o American urban milieus. They explore conflictive spaces, ravaged by neoliberal policies and...


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pp. 217-229


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pp. 231-248

List of Contributors

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pp. 249-252


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pp. 253-262

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780822977636
E-ISBN-10: 082297763X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780822961208
Print-ISBN-10: 0822961202

Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 15 b&w illustrations
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Pitt Latin American Series