Speaker: Emilio Sauri, Associate Professor of English, College of Liberal Arts Director, Concentration in Transnational and Multiethnic Literatures, UMass Boston
Moderator: Mariano Siskind, Professor, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University. Series co-chaired by Mariano Siskind, and Brian D. Farrell, Director, DRCLAS; Professor, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology.
The Future that Finally Arrived: Latin American Literature and the Global Contemporary
What is left of literature after the end of not just progress but of the temporality of history that made it thinkable in the first place? What happens to art when the future that developmentalism had promised to deliver to Latin America has finally arrived, but in the guise of the market’s triumph throughout the region? And how does the novel allow us to glimpse an alternative to this state of affairs? This workshop explores what recent history—including the end of the cold war, neoliberalism, globalization, and the ebb and flow of the pink tide—has meant for Latin American literature, and argues for understanding the contemporary itself as a deepening of a crisis within the world system. Ranging over works written throughout the first decade of the twenty-first century, we will consider how the attention to form, meaning, and autonomy takes on an unexpected political valence within the context of this same crisis, and how contemporary Latin American writers and artists have set out to prove not only that literature and art continue to exist, but that the possibility of imagining an alternative to the free market depends on their existence.