Speaker: Ericka Beckman, Associate Professor of Spanish, University of Pennsylvania
Series chaired and moderated by Mariano Siskind, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University
In this workshop we will discuss how fiction represented historical transitions to capitalism in rural twentieth-century Latin America. Against commonplace assumptions about the rural as backward, traditional and/or feudal (in contrast with dynamic and up-to-date urban centers), we will explore how twentieth-century fiction looked to rural areas as active, if uneven and contradictory, sites of modernization and historical transformation in their own right. If Latin American literature from 1920s regionalismo to the 1960s Boom was preoccupied with rural societies, it was not only because these societies were bulwarks of tradition, but because they were also modern, an observation that provides alternate points of entry into the relationship between historical transformation and literary form.