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Revista Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies

Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies

Revista Journal of Latin American Studies

Año: 2015 vol. 24 n. 1

Lanctot, Brendan. The Tiger and the Daguerreotype: Early Photography and Sovereignty in Post-Revolutionary Latin America.  / El tigre y el daguerrotipo: Fotografía temprana y soberanía en Latinoamérica post-revolucionaria p. 1-17 Argentina
Cultura visual / Política latinoamericana / Latin American cultural studies
Siglo XIX


In 1850 Charles DeForest Fredricks took a portrait of the Governor of Corrientes (Argentina) and, by way of payment, received a tiger. The episode, retold in numerous histories of early photography in the Americas, seems at first glance little more than a colourful anecdote set amid a rather dull litany of firsts: the first daguerreotype taken in this or that city, the first portrait studio, the first ‘native’ photographer, etc. Yet a close reading of the few primary sources about this unlikely encounter suggests that the oft-repeated vignette articulates in condensed form the unique power that photography possessed in mid-nineteenth-century Latin America. In giving a live beast in exchange for an image of himself, the local strongman not only makes a display of his authority, but also realizes a radical, if momentary, indistinction between animal life and social life – a literal enactment of what philosopher Giorgio Agamben identifies as the original activity of sovereign power. In this respect, the story of the tiger and the daguerreotype is representative of how, in the violent transition from colonies to republics in nineteenth-century Latin America, cultural practices were instrumental in making the idea of the modern state discernible.

Jarman, Rebecca Sarah Elizabeth . Against Utopia: Fantasies of Emancipation in Ana Teresa Torres's Nocturama (2006).  / Contra Utopía: Fantasias de emancipación en Nocturama de Ana Torres (2006) p. 19-32 Bolivia | Venezuela
Literatura venezolana / Socialismo bolivariano / Anti-utopía / Soberanía / Globalización / Independencia
Siglo XXI


Through its dual allegorical structure, Ana Teresa Torres's novel Nocturama (2006) negotiates the antagonisms between two conflicting ideologies at work in contemporary Venezuela. The novel is narrated by ‘Aspern’, a pseudo-intellectual who tells crude versions of Venezuelan Independence and Bolivarian Socialism in tandem. Aspern's foundational fable, which parodies the figure of Simón Bolívar, explores the demands of a primitive community in search of a collective political identity that, in turn, promises emancipation. Meanwhile, Aspern's accounts of the twenty-first century, as experienced by amnesiac Ulises, detail the restrictions to civil liberties upon the empowerment of the popular classes. Fleeing from encroached collectivity, Ulises escapes into a world of consumerism and privacy governed by marketisation. Theoretically, these narratives of common identity and individualism are at odds. Yet Torres's interweaving of the allegories in Nocturama prevents them to be understood separately. Read together, both stories emerge from Utopian visions that promise to their adherents absolute freedom upon their realisation. Rather than engender emancipation, however, Utopian thought as an ideological blueprint creates dystopian conditions. Against the notion that Utopian thought will liberate an oppressed society, Nocturama suggests that the recourse to Utopianism in ideology ultimately results in segregation and discontent.

Ríos, Valeria de los. Look(ing) at the Animals: The Presence of the Animal in Contemporary Southern Cone Cinema and in Carlos Busqued's Bajo este sol tremendo.  / Mirando a los animales: la presencia del animal en el cine contemporáneo del cono sur y en Bajo este sol tremendo de Carlos Busqued p. 33-46 América Latina | Cono Sur
Cine latinoamericano / Literatura latinoamericana / Estudios de animales / Estudios de cine / Cono sur / Carlos Busqued
Siglo XXI


The intention of this article is to investigate the visual presence of animals in contemporary literary and cinematic productions, specifically in the films La ciénaga (2011) and La mujer sin cabeza [The Headless Woman] (2008) by Lucrecia Martel, Verano [Summer] (2011) by José Luis Torres Leiva, Perro muerto [Dead Dog] (2011) by Camilo Becerra, and in Carlos Busqued's 2009 novel Bajo este sol tremendo [Under this Terrible Sun]. Despite the fact that authors like John Berger and Akira Lippit have claimed that the animal tends to disappear in modernity, authors like Pick and Jonathan Burt have rescued a persistent animal presence in literary and flim productions as a positive element. Burt emphasises the visual agency of the animal not so much as subjectivity, but rather as an affective power facing the human observer, and Pick underlines the vulnerability of the animal on screen. In this article I show the importance of the animal-human figuration, the look between species and the mobility/immobility duality as axes around which the visual presence of animals is articulated in these contemporary Latin American cultural productions.

Whitener, Brian. Ontology and Crises of State and Finance in Jorge Volpi's En busca de Klingsor.  / Ontología y Crisis de Estado y de Finanzas en "En busca de Klingsor" de Jorge Volpi p. 47-64 América Latina
Estudios culturales latinoamericanos / Política latinoamericana
Siglo XX


This essay examines Jorge Volpi's En busca de Klingsor in an attempt to explain its emergence as a cultural object in the 1990s in Mexico. I argue that the novel turns around what we might call hard indeterminism, ontology, or ‘worlding’ and that its obsession with how worlds are composed is a result of the novel's unique positioning in a moment marked by failed forms of finance-led accumulation and overall systemic financial crisis. Engaging with Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado's recent call for a cultural critique of neoliberalism in Mexico, I argue that in order to account for the emergence of Klingsor in its historical moment and in order to explicate the complicated relationship between the Boom and Crack generations, we need a literary-critical approach that is able to track both changes in the state form and macroeconomic transformations (in this case, the rise of finance).

Alvarado, Leticia. Towards a Personal Will to Continue Being “Other”: Ana Mendieta's Abject Performances.  / Hacia una voluntad personal de seguir siendo "Otro": Actuaciones abyectas de Ana Mendieta p. 65-85 Cuba
Ana Mendieta / Artistas cubanos exiliados / Silueta
Siglo XX | Siglo XXI


This article focuses on Cuban exile artist Ana Mendieta's early 1970s performances, which are often relegated to a cursory status in her oeuvre and sometimes dismissed as inconsequential juvenilia. Instead, I argue that these mark the beginning of Mendieta's elaborate and complex engagement with racialized and gendered difference through the unsettling aesthetic force of her abject performances. I decenter focus on her well-known Silueta Series (1973–1980) by linking her early performances to the curatorial work bookending her more-recognized earthwork, offering a frame by which to revise critical interpretations of these. By focusing on abjection as a politicized aesthetic strategy I situate Mendieta squarely within a genealogy of women of color feminisms and queer of color critique, an epistemological project that enlivens the political import of Mendieta's avant-gardism. Ultimately, her recourse to the abject brings into focus analogous and shared relations to dominance by minoritized subjects beyond Cuban or even Latino particularity, allowing us to think expansively about Mendieta's contributions specifically to the field of Latino Studies.

Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies
Papel | Versión digital con suscripción | Trimestral (desde 2011) | Reino Unido Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies. Travesia
ISSN versión papel: 1356-9325
ISSN versión digital: 1469-9575
Año de creación: 1992

Editor: Routledge (Taylor and Francis Group)

Publica artículos sobre la historia y la análisis de la cultura latinoamericana así como sobre el desarrollo de teorías y de métodos a fines de estudiar las costumbres latinoamericanas. Los artículos multi diciplinarios que contribuyen a dar sentido a una área de investigación y de debate están particularmente bienvenidos así como las disciplinas de cierto interés tales como la antropología, la comunicación, la historia y la literatura.

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