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Comparative Modernisms: Latin American Modernismos in Global Networks

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Organizer: Juan G. Ramos

Co-Organizer: Alejandra Uslenghi

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This seminar seeks to place in dialogue literary and cultural approaches to Latin Americanism and New Modernist Studies. As a field of study that has sparked the creation of dedicated book series, conferences, and special journal issues, New Modernist Studies has expanded its traditional temporal span to include most of the twentieth century and in some cases even the twenty-first century. In so doing, it incorporates the historical avant-gardes, interwar and Cold War literatures, and it embraces a number of literary movements, periods, and authors that Latin Americanism continues maintaining as distinct from modernismo. For Latin Americanism, modernismo is still a temporally confined moment in Latin American letters spanning the 1880s through the late 1910s.
Through a series of theoretical and methodological moves, New Modernist Studies has expanded its focus to embrace other art forms beyond literature and literary journals. With rare exceptions, most scholars invested in New Modernist Studies fail to pay attention to Latin America’s pivotal role in the creation of global networks of modernism/modernismo. In the case of Latin Americanism, there has also been a renewed interest in reexamining modernismo. Yet, there seems to be very little acknowledgment or dialogue with New Modernist Studies either for its shortcomings in engaging with Latin America, or for what it could offer to expand or question Latin Americanism’s methodological approaches to and ways of framing modernismo/modernism.

Rather than seeing modernism and modernismo as incommensurate terms and categories, this panel invites panelists to present work on the comparative questions and case studies that expand the ways in which modernismos have been studied both from the perspective of Latin Americanism and from New Modernist studies. Papers that trace non-canonical Latin American authors and artists as part of global modernist networks, as well as interdisciplinary approaches that bring a focus on gender and sexuality and critical race studies to modernismo are particularly welcome. Panelists might consider engaging with, but are not limited to the following topics:

- Modernismo and New Modernist Studies as commensurable or incommensurable terms
-Periodization and Latin American modernismos
-Scale and Latin American modernismos
-Lusophone, Hispanophone, and Francophone traditions and modernismos in Latin America
-Non-canonical authors, archive, and the arts to expand Latin American modernismos
-Comparative modernismos: methods and questions for Latin Americanism
-Geocultural networks and Latin American circuits
-Centrality of Latin America in Modernist Studies

For any questions, please contact the seminar co-organizers.

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