Latin America and the Aesthetics of Violence

Matteo Cantarello's picture
Call for Papers
March 21, 2019 to March 24, 2019
District Of Columbia, United States
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, Latin American and Caribbean History / Studies, Spanish and Portuguese History / Studies

Since the 1990s, Latin American countries have witnessed—in different ways and for various reasons—high levels of violence. The war on drugs, migratory phenomena, authoritarian regimes, and guerrilla wars are only few of the factors that have fueled violence across Latin America. The echo of these violent phenomena has surpassed the national boundaries of Latin American countries and several historical events and individuals have become the primary subjects and objects of literary and filmic productions that, more often than not, have tended to glamorize and sensationalize these materials for readers and spectators.

This panel offers the opportunity to discuss the literary and filmic aesthetics of violence in Latin America from a multi-perspective standpoint. The aim is to demystify false beliefs and misrepresentations of violent phenomena that have ignored victims in order to exalt perpetrators and in so doing entertain domestic and international audiences. Therefore, combining an analysis of topics, rhetorical devices, and fields of study—to name but a few—this panel will grant the possibility to hone the aesthetics of violence in and about Latin America while at the same time casting a light on sensationalized portrayals of violence.

Some of the questions this panel will address are:

- How does violence change across Latin America?

- Who are the recurring perpetrators and victims?

- What is the function of literary and filmic productions that portray Latin American violence?

- What is the opinion of Latin American citizens, intellectuals, and politicians about domestic and international artistic representations of violence?

- How does the glamorization of violence work in literary and filmic works?

- Who is the main victim of the glamorization of violence?

This panel aims to survey the aesthetics of literary and filmic representations of Latin American violence in the past 20 years. By comparing multi-national fictional portrayals of violent phenomena across Latin America, the scope is to detect possible traits that define or not the existence of a Latin American aesthetic canon to portray violence.

Contact Info: 

Matteo Cantarello , Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, College of William and Mary


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