Skip to Content

Latinx Literary History as Comparative Literature

«Back To Seminars

Organizer: Laura Lomas

Co-Organizer: Joseph Sepulveda Ortiz

Contact the Seminar Organizers

The forthcoming three-volume book series, Latinx Literature in Transition (Cambridge University Press), introduces texts ranging from the fifteenth through the twenty-first century, and drawing upon writing in English and Spanish, but also Spanglish, Kreyol, Brazilian Portuguese and Arabic, a range of indigenous and African languages that have persisted in the Americas. It includes research into the Malê rebellion in Salvador da Bahia, on Sephardic writers in New England, on Haitian and Dominican origins of Latinx literature, and on Afro-Latinx and Latinx indigeneity. This series assumes Latinx literature, by writers of Latin American and Hispanic Caribbean origin, is inherently comparative, translingual, a field that exists in the borders between languages, continents and nation states, and that draws upon the imaginaries available in distinct languages or linguistic imaginaries in spaces and conditions of displacement and diaspora.  Despite this multilingual reality, this range of comparison rubs against the grain of "U.S. American," "Latin American" and "Latinx" literary traditions, which have historically tended to focus upon the United States, or in specific language departments, in which nationalist, assimilationist, monolingualist and Area Studies pressures have limited comparative conversations.  This seminar aims to reflect upon the comparative dimension of Latinx literature, and specifically, asks what is at stake in reading literary history across a broader linguistic and historical range.  What really holds this literary tradition together? What tensions arise when we think across religious, racial, sexual, cultural and linguistic divisions? What literary genres, histories, and archival material become available in Latinx literature through this broader comparative scope? How does this comparative approach to Latinx literary history enrich the traditional literary fields, organized by period, by language, or by cultural or diaspora formation? This seminar will invite contributors to the forthcoming volumes to gather, along with scholars working comparatively in and around these fields, who may be interested in considering together the implications and processes of building a literary history that begins in the borderlands and in the wake of colonial displacement, enslavement and dispossession.
--how do genres change over time within Latinx literary history?
--graphic and visual narratives from the colonial period to the present, in Latinx literature
--language policies and the implications of Latinx literary history for language policies and language teaching
--spanglish and other untranslatables in Latinx Literary history
--transdisciplinary and historically informed approaches to literary texts as central to Latinx Studies
--Portuñol: Spanish/Portuguese mixtures in colonial Latinx literature?
--Latina/o/x/é: what names make sense in this historical moment? How does the reading of Latinx literary past inform

«Back To Seminars