Production of Iracema: uma transa amazônica (Jorge Bodansky and Orlando Senna, Brazil, 1975)

Urban and Rural Modernities in Latin America

American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting

April 8-11, 2021

Organized by Ian Erickson-Kery (Duke)

Panelists: Pavel Andrade (U. Penn), Victoria Baena (Yale), Sophia Basaldua-Sun (Ind.), Diego Bustos (New Mexico), Lindberg Campos (U. São Paulo), Josue Chavez (U. Penn), Carlos Colmenares Gil (U.C. Irvine), Iane Erickson-Kery (Duke), José María Rodriguez García (Duke)

In the latter half of the 20th century, Latin America, as with much of the Global South, experienced unprecedented levels of urbanization as rural zones were subject to mechanized agriculture and the consolidation of landholdings. This seminar looks to revisit categories of urban and rural, often taken at face value in literary and cultural analysis, in light of the historical experience of Latin America. Following Raymond Williams, who identified the role played by pastoral narratives in the development of British industrial capitalism, the seminar will address urban and rural formations as ideological rather than merely empirical. Is the rural inherently tied to the remnants of so-called feudal or pre-capitalist labor structures? Or do extractive industries give rise to what Henri Lefebvre calls “planetary urbanization,” or what Martín Arboleda has more recently termed the “planetary mine?” How might concepts of urbanity and rurality be modified in consideration of Black and indigenous territorialities, as in José María Arguedas' writing? Papers should not merely identify works of literature, film, art, or theory which represent urban and rural worlds, but rather attend to more structural and ideological concerns on the nature of those representations. Of particular interest are papers that examine questions of political subjectivation, territorial design and administration, and exchanges with other disciplines (e.g. architecture, ecology, geography).