Latin American cultural criticism today: new forms, new politics
Tomás Peters (Birkbeck, University of London)
John Kraniauskas (Birkbeck, University of London)
Malet 353
Start time:
3 April, 2014 at 14:15 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short abstract:

The main aim of this panel is to bring together researchers interested, on the one hand, in contemporary Latin American art (literature, visual arts, etc.) and, on the other, in how to read, interpret and criticize these artworks using new, reconfigured, forms of Latin American cultural criticism.

Long abstract:

Characterized by its multidisciplinary methodology, theoretical experimentation and emancipatory politics, and influenced by the Frankfurt School, post-structuralism, Latin American philosophy and Cultural Studies, Latin American cultural criticism (LACC) has been a significant intellectual current in the region since the mid-1970s. However, LACC has been challenged in recent years by a series of new artistic and critical practices emerging from new social and political contexts. New kinds of social movements, the traumatic memories of the recent past, forms of violence related to drug trafficking, and reterritorializing global/local flows of capital, among other issues, have produced new forms of artivism that question the avant-gardist discourses of the 1970s from which LACC also emerged - although similarly evoking the foundational cultural transformations that took place in Latin America in those years. Forty years after Pinochet's military coup, for example, a number of films, books, documentaries, TV series and performances have emerged that reflect on questions of memory, justice and truth in new ways.

How to read these new 'refractory texts and cultural activities' using and developing the frameworks established by LACC? What do we understand by LACC and what is the relationship between aesthetic materiality and critical theory today? What role does LACC play in Latin American society today? This panel will consider newly 'emergent' issues as they have been posed in new contexts, and which are now the object of renewed critical treatment by researchers, academics and students.