The Failure of Latin Americais a collection of John Beverley’s previously published essays and pairs them with new material that reflects on questions of postcolonialism and equality within the context of receding continental socialism. Beverley sees an impasse within both the academic postcolonial project and the Bolivarian idea of Latin America. The Pink Tide may have failed to permanently reshape Latin America, but in its failure there remains the possibility of an alternative modernity not bound to global capitalism. Beverley proposes that equality, modified by the postcolonial legacy, is a particularly Latin American possibility that can break the impasse and redefine Latinamericanism.
Most speculation about the future of Cuba rests on positions Cuban émigrés in the United States, Latin America, and Europe have advanced. In contrast, From Cuba represents a diverse collection by Cuban artists and intellectuals who have retained primary identification with or residence in Cuba. The island nation embodies a point of unresolved friction within the new world order. On the one hand, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the project of the Revolution faces what seems to be an insurmountable impasse; on the other hand, Cuba resists returning to the capitalist fold like a prodigal son.
Featuring essays, poetry, art, performance texts, song lyrics, and writing from members of the generation of the Revolution to younger writers and artists of the nineties, this collection explores themes such as the crisis of the project of the Revolution in an era of the decline of socialism, the Cuban literary diaspora, resistance and freedom, and Cuban identity in the nineties. From Cuba expands upon and challenges the traditional ways in which scholars think about Cuba’s political past and future prospects.
Contributors. Carlos Aguilera, Haroldo Dilla Alfonso, Miguel Barnet, Tania Bruguera, Michael Chanan, Antonio Fernandez, Ambrosio Fornet, Tomas Gutierrez Alea, Fernando Martínez Heredia, Rafael Hernandez, Fina Garcia Marruz, Nancy Morejón, Geraredo Mosquera, Magaly Muguericia, Desiderio Navarro, Margarita Mateo Palmer, Omar Perez, Antonio José Ponte, Raúl Rivero, Reina Maria Rodriguez, José Prats Sariol, Cintio Vitier
In Latinamericanism after 9/11, John Beverley explores Latinamericanist cultural theory in relation to new modes of political mobilization in Latin America. He contends that after 9/11, the hegemony of the United States and the neoliberal assumptions of the so-called Washington Consensus began to fade in Latin America. At the same time, the emergence in Latin America of new leftist governments—the marea rosada or “pink tide”—gathered momentum. Whatever its outcome, the marea rosada has shifted the grounds of Latinamericanist thinking in a significant way. Beverley proposes new paradigms better suited to Latin America’s reconfigured political landscape. In the process, he takes up matters such as Latin American postcolonial and cultural studies, the relation of deconstruction and Latinamericanism, the persistence of the national question and cultural nationalism in Latin America, the neoconservative turn in recent Latin American literary and cultural criticism, and the relation between subalternity and the state. Beverley’s perspective flows out of his involvement with the project of Latin American subaltern studies, but it also defines a position that is in some ways postsubalternist. He takes particular issue with recent calls for a “posthegemonic” politics.
“This book began in what seemed like a counterfactual intuition . . . that what had been happening in Nicaraguan poetry was essential to the victory of the Nicaraguan Revolution,” write John Beverley and Marc Zimmerman. “In our own postmodern North American culture, we are long past thinking of literature as mattering much at all in the ‘real’ world, so how could this be?” This study sets out to answer that question by showing how literature has been an agent of the revolutionary process in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala. The book begins by discussing theory about the relationship between literature, ideology, and politics, and charts the development of a regional system of political poetry beginning in the late nineteenth century and culminating in late twentieth-century writers. In this context, Ernesto Cardenal of Nicaragua, Roque Dalton of El Salvador, and Otto René Castillo of Guatemala are among the poets who receive detailed attention.
Postmodernism may seem a particularly inappropriate term when used in conjunction with a region that is usually thought of as having only recently, and then unevenly, acceded to modernity. Yet in the last several years the concept has risen to the top of the agenda of cultural and political debate in Latin America. This collection explores the Latin American engagement with postmodernism, less to present a regional variant of the concept than to situate it in a transnational framework. Recognizing that postmodernism in Latin America can only inaccurately be thought of as having traveled from an advanced capitalist "center" to arrive at a still dependent neocolonial "periphery," the contributors share the assumption that postmodernism is itself about the dynamics of interaction between local and metropolitan cultures in a global system in which the center-periphery model has begun to break down. These essays examine the ways in which postmodernism not only designates the effects of this transnationalism in Latin America, but also registers the cultural and political impact on an increasingly simultaneous global culture of a Latin America struggling with its own set of postcolonial contingencies, particularly the crisis of its political left, the dominance of neoliberal economic models, and the new challenges and possibilities opened by democratization. With new essays on the dynamics of Brazilian culture, the relationship between postmodernism and Latin American feminism, postmodernism and imperialism, and the implications of postmodernist theory for social policy, as well as the text of the Declaration from the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatatista National Liberation Army, this expanded edition of boundary 2 will interest not only Latin Americanists, but scholars in all disciplines concerned with theories of the postmodern.
Contributors. Xavier Albó, José Joaquín Brunner, Fernando Calderón, Enrique Dussel, Néstor García Canclini, Martín Hopenhayn, Neil Larsen, the Latin American Subaltern Studies Group, Norbert Lechner, María Milagros López, Raquel Olea, Aníbal Quijano, Nelly Richard, Carlos Rincón, Silviano Santiago, Beatriz Sarlo, Roberto Schwarz, and Hernán Vidal
Presented as the authentic testimony of the disenfranchised, the colonized, and the oppressed, testimonio has in the last two decades emerged as one of the most significant genres of Latin America’s post-boom literature. In the political battles that have taken place around the formation of the canon, the testimonio holds a special place: no other single genre of literature has taken up such a large part of current debate. Initially hailed in the 1970s as a genuine form of resistance literature, testimonio has since undergone a significant change in its critical reception. The essays in The Real Thing analyze the testimonio, its history, and its place in contemporary consciousness. Although the literature of testimony arose on the margins of institutional power and its ends were in large part political change, the canonization of testimonio by the academic Left has moved it from margin to center, ironically bringing about the institutionalization of its transgressive and counter-hegemonic qualities. Discussing Latin American works ranging from Salvadorian writer Roque Dalton’s Miguel Marmol to I . . . Rigoberta Menchu, a work that earned its author a Nobel Prize, this collection explores how critical writing about testimonio has turned into discourse about the institution of academia, the canon, postmodernism and postcolonialism, and the status of Latin American studies generally.
Contributors. John Beverley, Santiago Colás, Georg M. Gugelberger, Barbara Harlow, Fredric Jameson, Alberto Moreiras, Margaret Randall, Javier Sanjines, Elzbieta Sklodowska, Doris Sommer, Gareth Williams, George Yúdice, Marc Zimmerman
The term “subalternity” refers to a condition of subordination brought about by colonization or other forms of economic, social, racial, linguistic, and/or cultural dominance. Subaltern studies is, therefore, a study of power. Who has it and who does not. Who is gaining it and who is losing it. Power is intimately related to questions of representation—to which representations have cognitive authority and can secure hegemony and which do not and cannot. In this book John Beverley examines the relationship between subalternity and representation by analyzing the ways in which that relationship has been played out in the domain of Latin American studies.
Dismissed by some as simply another new fashion in the critique of culture and by others as a postmarxist heresy, subaltern studies began with the work of Ranajit Guha and the South Asian Subaltern Studies collective in the 1980s. Beverley’s focus on Latin America, however, is evidence of the growing province of this field. In assessing subaltern studies’ purposes and methods, the potential dangers it presents, and its interactions with deconstruction, poststructuralism, cultural studies, Marxism, and political theory, Beverley builds his discussion around a single, provocative question: How can academic knowledge seek to represent the subaltern when that knowledge is itself implicated in the practices that construct the subaltern as such? In his search for answers, he grapples with a number of issues, notably the 1998 debate between David Stoll and Rigoberta Menchú over her award-winning testimonial narrative, I, Rigoberta Menchú. Other topics explored include the concept of civil society, Florencia Mallon’s influential Peasant and Nation, the relationship between the Latin American “lettered city” and the Túpac Amaru rebellion of 1780–1783, the ideas of transculturation and hybridity in postcolonial studies and Latin American cultural studies, multiculturalism, and the relationship between populism, popular culture, and the “national-popular” in conditions of globalization.
This critique and defense of subaltern studies offers a compendium of insights into a new form of knowledge and knowledge production. It will interest those studying postcolonialism, political science, cultural studies, and Latin American culture, history, and literature.