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Literary and Cultural Inquiries
The scholarship in the volume Comparative Cultural Studies and Latin America represents the proposition that, given its vitality and excellence, Latin American literature deserves a more prominent place in comparative literature publications, curricula, and disciplinary discussions.
The papers in this volume represent recent scholarship about Booker Prize Winner Michael Ondaatje's oeuvre by scholars working on English-Canadian literature and culture in Canada, England, Japan, New Zealand, and the USA.
This book constitutes an attempt to theorize the process of the emergence, in eighteenth-century New Spain, of a position of intellectual subjectivity differentiated from that established by the regime of Spanish imperial authority. The principal concern has been to trace how certain groups of criollo intellectuals try to construct such discourses, paradoxically, out of the framework of available European systems of knowledge and representation. In this fashion, it was sought to discern the outline of an ideological program for criollo political and cultural hegemony in the eighteenth century
Cinema, Writing, and Modernity in Rio de Janeiro
Consuming Visions explores the relationship between cinema and writing in early twentieth-century Brazil, focusing on how the new and foreign medium of film was consumed by a literary society in the throes of modernization. Maite Conde places this relationship in the specific context of turn-of-the-century Rio de Janeiro, which underwent a radical transformation to a modern global city, becoming a concrete symbol of the country's broader processes of change and modernization. Analyzing an array of literary texts, from journalistic essays and popular women's novels to anarchist treatises and vaudeville plays, the author shows how the writers' encounters with the cinema were consistent with the significant changes taking place in the city.
The arrival and initial development of the cinema in Brazil were part of the new urban landscape in which early Brazilian movies not only articulated the processes of the city's modernization but also enabled new urban spectators—women, immigrants, a new working class, and a recently liberated slave population—to see, believe in, and participate in its future. In the process, these early movies challenged the power of the written word and of Brazilian writers, threatening the hegemonic function of writing that had traditionally forged the contours of the nation's cultural life. An emerging market of consumers of the new cultural phenomena—popular theater, the department store, the factory, illustrated magazines—reflected changes that not only modernized literary production but also altered the very life and everyday urban experiences of the population. Consuming Visions is an ambitious and engaging examination of the ways in which mass culture can become an agent of intellectual and aesthetic transformation.
Between Myth and Nation in the Caribbean
During the colonial period in Guyana, the country’s coastal lands were worked by enslaved Africans and indentured Indians. In Creole Indigeneity, Shona N. Jackson investigates how their descendants, collectively called Creoles, have remade themselves as Guyana’s new natives, displacing indigenous peoples in the Caribbean through an extension of colonial attitudes and policies.
Looking particularly at the nation’s politically fraught decades from the 1950s to the present, Jackson explores aboriginal and Creole identities in Guyanese society. Through government documents, interviews, and political speeches, she reveals how Creoles, though unable to usurp the place of aboriginals as First Peoples in the New World, nonetheless managed to introduce a new, more socially viable definition of belonging, through labor. The very reason for bringing enslaved and indentured workers into Caribbean labor became the organizing principle for Creoles’ new identities.
Creoles linked true belonging, and so political and material right, to having performed modern labor on the land; labor thus became the basis for their subaltern, settler modes of indigeneity—a contradiction for belonging under postcoloniality that Jackson terms “Creole indigeneity.” In doing so, her work establishes a new and productive way of understanding the relationship between national power and identity in colonial, postcolonial, and anticolonial contexts.
Rhetoric of Betrayal and Guilt in the Caribbean Diaspora
In Creole Renegades, Bénédicte Boisseron looks at exiled Caribbean authors—Edwidge Danticat, Jamaica Kincaid, V. S. Naipaul, Maryse Condé, Dany Laferriére, and more—whose works have been well received in their adopted North American countries but who are often viewed by their home islands as sell-outs, opportunists, or traitors.
These expatriate and second-generation authors refuse to be simple bearers of Caribbean culture, often dramatically distancing themselves from the postcolonial archipelago. Their writing is frequently infused with an enticing sense of cultural, sexual, or racial emancipation, but their deviance is not defiant.
Underscoring the typically ignored contentious relationship between modern diaspora authors and the Caribbean, Boisseron ultimately argues that displacement and creative autonomy are often manifest in guilt and betrayal, central themes that emerge again and again in the work of these writers.
Migrant Caribbean Identities in Literature and Film
Creolizing the Metropole is a comparative study of postwar West Indian migration to the former colonial capitals of Paris and London. It studies the effects of this population shift on national and cultural identity and traces the postcolonial Caribbean experience through analyses of the concepts of identity and diaspora. Through close readings of selected literary works and film, H. Adlai Murdoch explores the ways in which these immigrants and their descendants represented their metropolitan identities. Though British immigrants were colonial subjects and, later, residents of British Commonwealth nations, and the French arrivals from the overseas departments were citizens of France by law, both groups became subject to otherness and exclusion stemming from their ethnicities. Murdoch examines this phenomenon and the questions it raises about borders and boundaries, nationality and belonging.
El siglo XIX en la ficción contemporánea de Argentina, Chile y Uruguay (1980–2001)
n the last decades—and especially since the 1990s—there has been a noticeable reemergence of the nineteenth century in Southern Cone culture. Popular nineteenth-century figures (indios, gauchos, letrados, and cautivas) have reentered the national literary scene in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. Nineteenth-century heroes such as San Martín and Artigas are again the main protagonists of Southern Cone theater, film, and literature. Canonical nineteenth-century texts (La cautiva, Martín Fierro, Facundo) are being rewritten one more time in different artistic fields. Foundational nineteenth-century genres (travel narratives, gauchesque poems, and national romances) are being transformed and recycled. Controversial nineteenth-century events (the civil wars, the massacre of indigenous communities) are being revisited and explored. Through a combination of close textual analysis and a broader perspective rooted in cultural theory, this book answers two interrelated questions: Why did the nineteenth century resurface so strongly in the last decades? What are the ideological implications of this reemergence? Based on a transnational comparison of Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay, and a survey of narratives that were mostly produced by well-known figures (political activists, public intellectuals, and canonical authors), Crisis y reemergencia helps to elucidate how the Southern Cone cultural field has changed since the 1990s: how intellectuals’ ethics, national identities, and discursive strategies that were functional to the consolidation of liberalism in the nineteenth century have been challenged, transformed, and rethought in the last decades. Borrowing from cultural Marxism, discourse analysis, and postcolonial theory, the book pursues a triple contribution: to define the discursive and ideological components that were at the core of the nineteenth century, to show their continuity up to the 1990s (and thus clarify the connections between liberalism and neoliberalism), and to expose their recent transformation—a transformation that paved the way for the “return of the political” to the region.