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Making Sense at the End of the World: Nonhuman Reading and Inscription in Contemporary Latin America

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Abstract

This dissertation examines how nonhuman agents are redefining how we think about reading, writing, and storytelling in contemporary literature, film and art from Argentina, Chile, and Mexico. It revolves around two intersecting foci. The first is how the concept of the Anthropocene and the understanding of the human as a geological force reveals the entanglement of the human and nonhuman. The second is the digital age and its implications for reading and writing as human agency becomes less exceptional in a world pervaded by nonhuman and technological forms of writing. If reading and writing are fundamental ways in which we make sense of the world, this dissertation looks into how these are repurposed in literature, film, and art in the present through the mediation of nonhuman agents. Throughout its four chapters, I show how Pola Oloixarac’s Las constelaciones oscuras, Samanta Schweblin’s Distancia de rescate, Patricio Pron’s “Como una cabeza enloquecida vaciada de contenido,” Patricio Guzmán’s Nostalgia de la luz, Verónica Gerber Bicecci’s La máquina distópica and La compañía, and Mike Wilson’s Leñador and Ártico provide platforms that showcase both at the level of content and, more importantly, of form, different engagements with nonhuman agents that displace human exceptionality. I do so by grouping these objects around four nodes: environmental agencies, nonhuman scales, future reading, and database writing.

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258 pages

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2021-08

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Committee Chair

Paz-Soldan, Edmundo

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Pinkus, Karen Elyse
Bosteels, Bruno

Degree Discipline

Romance Studies

Degree Name

Ph. D., Romance Studies

Degree Level

Doctor of Philosophy

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Government Document

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Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

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dissertation or thesis

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