This essay provides an overview of the current state of nineteenth-century Latin American literary and cultural studies. It begins by reviewing some of the key critical interventions in the field, including Doris Sommer's Foundational Fictions and Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities, and argues that Sommer's and Anderson's postulations helped turn the critical gaze away from a vision of nineteenth-century Latin American literature as subsidiary to the subsequent, supposedly superior literary movements of the fin de siglo and the twentieth century. Critics of nineteenth-century Latin American literature have increasingly focused on previously less-studied texts, on those not typically considered literary, and on other cultural phenomena that can be both read as texts and alongside written texts, such as music and visual imagery. The essay also resists binarisms and implicit hierarchies and conceptualizes nineteenth-century Latin America in terms of Bourdieu's field of cultural production, while taking into account Bottero and Crossley's "concrete connections" among actors in that field. In that way, I conclude that the two chief critical tendencies today in nineteenth-century Latin American literary studies may be categorized as a focus on the circulation of ideas and on the circulation of objects.


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pp. 585-603
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