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Negotiating Difference in the Hispanic World: From Conquest to Globalisation

Eleni Kefala (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4443-3907-9
212 pages
July 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
Negotiating Difference in the Hispanic World: From Conquest to Globalisation (1444339079) cover image


Negotiating Difference in the Hispanic World invites us to rethink the complex dialogical process of identity formation and self-definition in Latin America from the Conquest to the present day. Essays from an international scholarship provide an important theoretical contribution to debates on identity.
  • Explores the various instances of cultural encounters in Latin America from the Conquest to the present day
  • This volume is singularly wide in its breadth, covering sixteenth-century Aztec heraldry and Sahagún's Universal History of the Things of New Spain, to eighteenth-century notions of culture, nineteenth-century theatre, turn-of-the-century degeneration theory, and contemporary literature and culture.
  • The book’s interdisciplinary approach combines literary and cultural studies, cultural history, art history, translation studies and cultural anthropology
  • A broad geographical scope covers Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Spain, Cuba and the United States.
  • The book makes an important theoretical contribution to the debates on identity through its innovative approaches, maintaining a fine balance between theoretical argument and empirical study
  • The essays are written by specialists of different nationalities based in the United Kingdom, the United States, Norway and Argentina, providing an international cutting-edge scholarship
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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors.

Introduction (Eleni Kefala).

Part I: Found in Translation

1. Translating the Nahuas: Fray Bernardino de Sahagún's Parallel Texts in the Construction of Universal History of the Things of New Spain (Victoria Ríos Castaño).

2. Genealogies and Analogies of ‘Culture' in the History of Cultural Translation - on Boturini's Translation of Tlaloc and Vico in Idea of a New General History of Northern America (John Ødemark).

3. The ‘Acculturation' of the Translating Language: Gregory Rabassa and Gabriel García Márquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold (Anna Fochi).

Part II: Appropriations and the Rhetoric of Self-Definition

4. Claiming Ancestry and Lordship: Heraldic Language and Indigenous Identity in Post-Conquest Mexico (Mónica Domínguez Torres).

5. The Role of Degeneration Theory in Spanish American Public Discourse at the Fin de Siècle: Raza Latina and Immigration in Chile and Argentina (Michela Coletta).

6. (Mis)appropriating Europe: the Argentine Gaze in Ricardo Piglia's Artificial Respiration (Emilse Hidalgo).

Part III: Liminality and the Politics of Identity

7. Transatlantic Crossings: Don Álvaro as a Threshold (Christina Karageorgou-Bastea).

8. Transatlantic Deficits; or, Alberto Vilar at the Royal Opera House (Roberto Ignacio Díaz).

9. A European Enclave in an Alien Continent? Enduring Fictions of European Civilisation and Indigenous Barbarism in Argentina Today (Leslie Ray).

10. McOndo, Magical Neoliberalism and Latin American Identity (Rory O'Bryen).


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Author Information

Eleni Kefala is a lecturer in Latin American literature and culture at the University of St Andrews. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and subsequently held a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Peripheral (Post) Modernity: The Syncretist Aesthetics of Borges, Piglia, Kalokyris and Kyriakidis (2007), and of numerous articles on Latin American and comparative literature and culture.
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‘A remarkably broad-ranging collection of essays covering some five-hundred years of Latin American cultural history. Arguing that difference is necessarily constitutive of identity, the book provides a series of reflections on a variety of texts and topics related to identity formation via readings that transcend conventional perceptions resting on binary distinctions as well as those based on over-simplified notions of hybridity. This more open approach offers fresh and compelling ways of understanding Latin American modernity, with individual contributions that are fascinatingly revealing and rigorously argued.’
—Philip Swanson, University of Sheffield, UK

'Kefala's volume provides the reader with a compelling collection of ten thought-provoking essays that, together with her introductory essay, offer a novel and interdisciplinary understanding of the aesthetic, ideological and cultural negotiations that have reconfigured the formation of a range of Hispanic identities in the Americas over the last five centuries. What emerges from Negotiating Difference is a strong sense that we need to rethink how difference shapes identity in a problematised postcolonial world that in itself deserves rethinking.'
—Professor Will Fowler, University of St Andrews

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