Speaker: Luz Horne, Professor of Literature at the Humanities Department at Universidad de San Andrés in Buenos Aires. DRCLAS de Fortabat Visiting Scholar 2019-2020
Moderator: Mariano Siskind, Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of Comparative Literature
This presentation explores the connection between a contemporary global catastrophic imaginary with the one from mid-twentieth century Latin America: that of a territory impregnated with future. Paying attention to this connection will shed light on the structural tie between the current ecological, social and political devastation on the one hand, and a colonial, industrial, monumental and extractivist order on the other. Horne will claim that the colonial and modern idea of emptiness and of a future made from scratch –in which the majority of the cultural utopian projects from Latin America’s twentieth century are based– is associated with a specific type of aesthetics: monumental, epic and based on great narratives. In this presentation, Horne explores an alternative type of spatio-temporal imagination, based on the presence of material remains and through which the basic concepts of modern western epistemology are questioned. Given that Brazil is a key scenario for the world ecological crisis and its dystopic figurations, and, at the same time, has been a paradigmatic model of modernism in Latin America, Horne will focus in this national context and in two moments related with the idea of the end of the world: the second European post war and the present moment. By interrupting an evolutionist, linear, aestheticized and humanist narrative, the work that is made through a material archeology in different works and cultural experiences such as Flavio de Carvalho’s expedition to the Amazon (1958); Andrea Tonacci film Serras da Desordem (2006) and Andre de Leones novel, Dentes negros (2011), illuminates a dark side of modernity and inaugurates a different account that –Horne proposes– could be thought of as its reverse.
Luz Horne is a Professor of Literature at the Humanities Department at Universidad de San Andrés in Buenos Aires. She received her Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese from Yale University and her B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Buenos Aires. Before joining San Andrés, she was an Assistant Professor at Cornell University and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Northwestern University. She is the author of Literaturas reales. Transformaciones del realismo en la literatura latinoamericana contemporánea (Beatriz Viterbo Editora, 2012) and of several articles on Latin American Literature and Visual Studies. She is currently working on a book manuscript that explores the presence of material remains in diverse Latin American cultural and aesthetic projects in relationship to different ways of imagining the future.
* This workshop will be held in Spanish