Vol. 5 No. 2 Dec. 2021

  • Introduction: Exceptionalism and Its Discontents: Latin America as a Utopic Space

    Author:João Cezar de Castro Rocha, Ran Wei

    Abstract: A specter is haunting Latin American Studies: exceptionalism. In other words, the highly un-anthropological (if you can forgive us for inventing such an awkward word) assumption, according to which Latin American cultures defy interpreters, especially if they are foreigners, given their complexity beyond any possible translation into any system of references other than th...

    Vol. 5 No. 2 Dec. 2021      Time:2022-01-10 View Citation

  • The Psychosis of Power: A Lacanian Reading of Augusto Roa Bastos’s I, the Supreme

    Author:William Egginton

    Abstract: In the mid-seventies, Paraguay was two decades into what would ultimately be the second longest dictatorship in its history, second only to the reign of its “founding father,” Doctor José Rodríguez Gaspar de Francia. The regime of Alfredo Stroessner justified its existence and articulated its continued role in Paraguayan politics on a genealogy of national identity that had its supposed roots in the Francia government, Francia’s political ideology and, in fact, in the historical person of Francia himself. In this essay I show how the great Paraguayan writer Augusto Roa Bastos’s 1974 novel, I, the Supreme, takes aim at the “kernel of the real” in the Stroessner regime’s political genealogy, using fiction to make evident its anamorphic manipulation of national and nationalist identity. By taking at its word the regime’s historical discourse, I, the Supreme reveals the psychotic logic animating its version of political power.

    Vol. 5 No. 2 Dec. 2021      Time:2022-01-10 View Citation

  • Against the Authoritarian Orator and His Pater familias: Deviant Literarity and Orphaned Speech in El padre mío by Diamela Eltit and Lotty Rosenfeld

    Author:Nan Zheng

    Abstract: Published in the last year of Augusto Pinochet Ugarte’s military dictatorship saw its end, My Father (El padre mío) constitutes an interprofessional, collaborative work between Chile National Literature Prize winner Diamela Eltit and visual artist Lotty Rosenfeld, composed of unaltered transcriptions of three monologues (dis)articulated by a schizophrenic vagrant who referred to himself as My Father. By re-enacting the vagrant’s irrational utterances in a truthful but parodic manner, Eltit and Rosenfeld “orphaned” these spoken words into a work of written literature that mocked the authoritarian voice of the dictator who had imposed himself as the Grand Orator of the Nation and the Father of Chile. The main objective of the present work, which is principally based on the conceptualization of Mute Speech by Jacques Rancière, is to examine the political dimension of Eltit and Rosenfeld’s aesthetic endeavor:

    Vol. 5 No. 2 Dec. 2021      Time:2022-01-10 View Citation

  • Planet Earth Strikes Back: Landscapes of Toxicity in Latin American Fiction

    Author:Leila Lehnen

    Abstract: This essay discusses how contemporary Latin American literature (Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia) employs the discourse of toxicity—condensed in the metaphor of bio-engineering and mutation—to process and interrogate what Jason Moore has called the “Capitolecene.” Moore proposes to understand the “accumulation of capital, the pursuit of power, and the co-production of nature in dialectical unity.” This essay considers how the co-production of nature, impelled by greed (a recurring allegory of capitalism) goes terribly wrong by generating toxic biomes. As such, these texts function as ecocritical allegories of the Capitolecene (specifically in its iteration as biocapitalism) and its human and environmental consequences.

    Vol. 5 No. 2 Dec. 2021      Time:2022-01-10 View Citation

  • Reconstructing the Memory of the Wounded Social Body: A Philosophical-Theological Reflection from the Search for Missing Persons in Mexico

    Author:Carlos Mendoza-Álvarez

    Abstract: This essay analyzes the phenomenon of clandestine graves of missing persons in Mexico as a social, political, and philosophical problem, where theological clues are established. With the contributions of decolonial thought this reflection seeks to think the absence and, within it, to think the emergence of an alternative world promoted by the just people of history with the resistances they create to live the present with dignity and hope.

    Vol. 5 No. 2 Dec. 2021      Time:2022-01-10 View Citation

  • Paul Groussac’s Void: The French Writer and the Argentine Tradition

    Author:Mariano Siskind

    Abstract: The French-Argentine Paul Groussac embodied a wide range of writerly functions and cultural-political positions within the Argentine cultural field between the 1880s and the 1920s: writer, playwright, chronicler, traveler, literary, art, and music critic, historian, educator, editor, and director of the National Library during 44 years. This essay considers his place in the history of Argentine literature looking at two of the many ways in which he inscribed himself in it. The first takes up the production and reproduction of the ontological privilege of French identity as a form of legitimization for his public—and often polemic—interventions, through which he sought to establish scholarly-disciplinary practices, protocols, and conventions that would articulate an entire critical field around his own authority. The second proposes to think his alternatively weak and strong inscriptions in

    Vol. 5 No. 2 Dec. 2021      Time:2022-01-10 View Citation

  • The Latin American Publishing Circuit in the 21st Century: Following the Trajectory of César Aira

    Author:María Belén Riveiro

    Abstract: This essay poses a question about the identity of Latin American literature in the 21st century. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Latin America Boom received recognition both locally and internationally, becoming the dominant means of defining Latin American literature up to the present. This essay explores new ways to understand this notion of Latin America in the literary scene. The case of the Argentine writer César Aira is relevant for analyzing alternative publishing circuits that connect various points of the region. These publishing houses foster a defiant way of establishing the value of literature.

    Vol. 5 No. 2 Dec. 2021      Time:2022-01-10 View Citation

  • When the Periphery Becomes the Center: New Trends in Contemporary Brazilian Fiction

    Author:Xing Fan

    Abstract: Contemporary literature has always been a dynamic arena for reflecting on and discussing a country’s social changes. With the worsening of social problems and the resurgence of right-wing forces in Brazil in the last decade, literature has endured a series of crises, but it has also found new opportunities. The “marginal writers” who attracted attention at the beginning of the century have gradually moved to the center of Brazilian literature. Aside from denouncing the social problems that exist in the periphery, such as violence, discrimination and poverty, they now pay more attention to the inner feelings of the vulnerable. On the other hand, writers who are known for their psychological descriptions have also begun to explore social issues, often maintaining the subjective perspectives of their characters..

    Vol. 5 No. 2 Dec. 2021      Time:2022-01-10 View Citation

  • Morning Conferences: From Dialogue to the Sacrificial Rite and the Formation of Scapegoats

    Author:Jorge Federico Márquez Muñoz, Pablo Armando González Ulloa Aguirre

    Abstract: In order to achieve the objectives of transparency and accountability, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has offered a press conference every morning since he took office. This situation seemed to be a transcendental change in the field of democratic dynamics and political communication in Mexico; however, not merely a means of communication, these conferences have instead become a method of government. Using postulates of Mimetic Theory, this essay analyzes AMLO’s conferences, showing how this daily practice has become propaganda for the regime.

    Vol. 5 No. 2 Dec. 2021      Time:2022-01-10 View Citation

  • Updatism: Pandemic and Historicities in the Never-Ending 2020

    Author:Mateus Henrique de Faria Pereira, Valdei Lopes de Araujo

    Abstract: In this essay we demonstrate that the present and the future are also history and must be dimensions of historiography. For that, we return to episodes from our book Alamanac of COVID-19 and some of our readings of key moments of this year in order to reflect on what we have called updatist historicity. In some moments we use the retrospective as a tool. In others we choose to maintain the anachronistic effect of certain passages in order to highlight the contingent aspect of all representation of time. We divided the text into three main parts. The first presents the most recent shifts in the hypothesis about an updatist historicity. In the second, we gathered some episodes from 2020 as a way to elucidate what we are calling updatism in its relations with politics and history, and finally we point out preliminary paths for action with counter-updatist effects.

    Vol. 5 No. 2 Dec. 2021      Time:2022-01-10 View Citation

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