Capital Fictions: The Political Economy of Latin American Literature (1870-1930)
CIS Seminar Series
Ericka Beckman from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign proposes that we look to literary production as a guide to the tumultuous period of capitalist modernization experienced in Latin America between 1870 and 1930.
This talk proposes that we look to literary production as a guide to the tumultuous period of capitalist modernization experienced in Latin America between 1870 and 1930. During this period, Latin American countries were incorporated into global economic networks like never before, mainly as exporters of raw materials and importers of manufactured goods. Within this context, I explore some of the ways in which the region's authors responded to the emerging consequences of peripheral modernization. Focusing on texts ranging from pamphlets promoting Guatemalan coffee to novels about stock market collapse in 1890s Argentina, I explore political economy and literature as mutually constitutive arenas of thought in modern Latin America.
Ericka Beckman is Associate Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is the author of Capital Fictions: The Literature of Latin America's Export Age, forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press, a study how Latin American authors responded to and understood early capitalist modernization in the region. She has published essays in PMLA, Signs, The Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, and Revista Hispánica Moderna, among other venues. She is currently working on a project on narcotrafficking and recent Latin American cultural production. For more info about Beckman, click here.
DISCUSSANT: Carol Wise, Associate Professor of International Relations, USC