Vulnerable Cosmopolitanism in Latin America: Hospitality Dynamics/ Pop Interferences in Contemporary Literature and Film
Navia, Maria Jose Eleonora
This dissertation studies the interrelation between cosmopolitanism, hospitality and pop culture in 20th and 21st century Latin American literature and film. Some of my research's leading questions are: what are the ethics and politics of pop culture in Latin America? What happens when pop culture references are used in order to approach questions of trauma and bearing witness in both literature and film? Can we think globalization and the global through trauma?The five chapters study six novels and three films: Chilean writer Roberto Bolaños’s Los Detectives Salvajes and Una Novelita Lumpen, Argentinean author Rodrigo Fresán’s Mantra and Jardines de Kensington, Dominican writers Junot Diaz and Rita Indiana's novels The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and Papi, Argentinean film director Albertina Carri's documentary Los Rubios and Chilean film director Alicia Scherson's movie Play. I claim that, in these artistic creations, the use of foreign pop culture references is not seen under the negative aegis of ridiculization and banality; rather, pop culture references and hospitality dynamics aid in the shaping of a new memory and a different community. I relate this shift in the understanding of pop culture to discourses valorizing openness and hospitality in twentieth-century thought by authors such as Emmanuel Levinas or Jacques Derrida, and suggest that the use of imagery pertaining to pop culture in these fictional texts weaves a critique of traditional views on memory, trauma and community, thus configuring a vulnerable cosmopolitanism.Keywords: cosmopolitanism – memory – trauma – pop culture – vulnerability
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