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Current Issue Article Abstracts

December 2016 Vol. 69.2

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"The Screenplay in the Archive: Screenwriting, New Cinemas, and the Latin American Boom

Jerónimo Arellano 

Widely known for their novels and short fiction, the writers of the Latin American Boom were also prolific screenwriters. This aspect of the Boom has been largely neglected in literary criticism, and in fact many unproduced and unpublished screenplays written by these authors remain virtually unread. Focusing on two unproduced screenplays that are part of this vast corpus, this article proposes a systematic and comparative analysis of “the screenplay of the Boom,” a textual form grounded in a transmedia poetics that reworks central concerns developed in the terrain of literary fiction within the realm of screenwriting. An analysis of these screenplays prompts us to consider that the Boom may represent a significant moment in the cultural history of Latin American screenwriting and invites us to reconsider this term in relation to alternative notions of authorship and textuality.  

“Cuadros de costumbres en Cuba y Puerto Rico: de la historia natural y la lituratura de viajes a las ciencias sociales”

Daylet Domínguez

In this essay, my interest is to return to the cuadros de costumbres in Cuba and Puerto Rico as one of the ways to rethink the relations between science and literature in the nineteenth century. In its most varied manifestations, the cuadro de costumbres articulated a discursive modality that enabled the organization and structuring of zones of thought in the nineteenth century, from the artistic and literary spheres to racial and scientific discourses. In the long genealogy that stretches from the natural to the social sciences, the cuadro de costumbres operated as a dominant vehicle for the dissemination of knowledge. In a period when scientific disciplines had not attained a high degree of specialization and autonomy, discursively or institutionally, the costumbrista practice generated important knowledge regarding society and forged connections with the rise of scientific discourse in the political and public sphere. This was possible on account of the tropological and conceptual ties that costumbrismo maintained with natural history and travel literature. This process of coming to terms with the dominant scientific paradigms of the nineteenth century gave costumbrismo an epistemological toolkit that would make it a central referent for the emergence and consolidation of the social sciences in Cuba and Puerto Rico.


“Pedagogías del despojo y dispositivos narrativos coloniales: Rodolfo Lenz, el temblor de tierra, las dudosas fuentes del desastre y la cultura mapuche”

 Álvaro Kaempfer

This article discusses Rodolfo Lenz’s Tradiciones e ideas de los araucanos acerca de los terremotos (1912), dwelling on the preservation and reproduction of a Mapuche traditional story about the origin of earthquakes and tsunamis. Impressed by the impact of Mapudungun over the Spanish in Santiago, Chile, Lenz started a long journey to explore the relation between both languages, ending up strongly committed to the research of the Mapudungun and the promotion of Mapuche culture. Lenz’s early expectations on the direct access to Mapudungun speakers to trace back linguistic changes and traditional stories would be later frustrated by the colonial framework of its compilation. Integrating linguistic samples, fieldwork, and stories documented by colonial institutions to the research done by his contemporaries, Lenz expresses his doubts about the possibility of going back to the grain of stories shaped and reshaped by a longstanding Spanish colonial domination. However, the alignment  with the official Chilean culture is quite notorious. This essay underlines those aspects, related to major concerns and academic trends of his time, while insisting on Lenz’s commitment to a strong, persistent and systematic defense of Mapuche culture.

“Lo que en España no ha habido: la lógica normalizadora de la cultura postfranquista en la actual crisis”

Germán Labrador Méndez 

This text analyzes the cultural logics of the Spanish democracy in the context of the current  crisis, studying the collapse of national hegemonic, beginning in 2011. To do so, it offers a reading methodology capable to understand urban policies, the construction of speculative infrastructures (ghost airports), and the production of novels (Crematorio by Rafael Chribes), graffiti (15M), and performances (Santiago Sierra) as political displays for ideological confrontation. Finally, the text argues that cremation is the central metaphor that, in relation to temporality and profit, opens up a perspective beyond the logics of (capitalist) normalization that have been hegemonic in Spain during the last decades.

Los Cristos de todas las pasiones”: The Latin American Existentialism of José Revueltas’s El luto humano

Stephanie Merrim

This article examines the ways in which José Revueltas’s novel El luto humano (1943) confederates the seemingly immiscible elements of Christianity, Marxism, and lo mexicano into a paradigm for a distinctively Latin American existentialism. Departing from Revueltas’s little-studied essay on César Vallejo, “Arte y cristianismo: César Vallejo” (1939), it probes El luto humano’s reterritorializing of theology, a transvaluation that seeds an ethico-political platform based on intersubjectivity and solidarity. Revueltas’s platform of “re ligare” also targets the historically-conditional alienation of various racial groups in Mexico, and it directs Latin American existentialism away from Sartrean objectification of the other. Altogether, my essay maintains, El luto humano braids together an array of Latin American passions, creating a template that existentialist writers like Julio Cortázar, Rodolfo Kusch, and Luis Villoro bear out.


Álvaro Fernández-Bravo

"Subjetividades migrantes en la cotidianeidad transnacional iberoamericana: dos mapas asimétricos"
Tania Gentic. The Everyday Atlantic: Time, Knowledge, and Subjectivity in the Twentieth-Century Iberian and Latin-American Newspaper Chronicle; Víctor Goldgel. Cuando lo nuevo conquistó América: prensa, moda y literatura en el siglo XIX



José R. Jouve Martín. The Black Doctors of Colonial Lima: Science, Race, and Writing in Colonial and Early Republican Peru (Paul Ramírez)

Javier Krauel. Imperial Emotions: Cultural Responses to Myths of Empire in Fin-de-Siècle Spain (Christopher Britt Arredondo)

Anna More. Baroque Sovereignty: Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora and the Creole Archive of Colonial Mexico (Orlando Bentancor)

Ana María Rodríguez-Rodríguez. Letras liberadas: cautiverio, escritura y subjetividad en el Mediterráneo de la época imperial española (Natalio Ohanna)