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The Image Of The Remainder In Latin American Literature And Visual Arts

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Abstract

The present dissertation studies the image of the remainder in three variations- garbage, human remains and wastelands-as they appear in contemporary Latin American literary and visual products. Works by Marcelo Cohen, Vik Muniz and Teresa Margolles are clustered around the image of garbage in chapter 1; Rodolfo Walsh, Artur Barrio, Rubem Fonseca and Guadalupe Nettel offer the images of human remains analyzed in chapter 2; and finally, chapter three reads the image of the wasteland in José Revueltas, Sebastião Salgado, and Matilde Sánchez. This constellation of images produced by contemporary writers and artists from Argentina, Brazil and Mexico is read against its immediate historical context to uncover the patterns of political engagement triggered by a moment of crisis. These moments of upheaval produce an awareness of collective vulnerabilities, which find their expression in images of waste. The most recurrent pattern of collective behavior after an instance of crisis, as it is observed in the analyzed works, can be summarized as a political mobilization springing from the improvised usage of waste materials as a strategy for the survival of the community.

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2012-08-20

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Waste Garbage Remainder; Latin American literature and visual art; Visual Studies

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Committee Chair

Bosteels, Bruno

Committee Co-Chair

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Horne, Luz
Paz-Soldan, Jose Edmundo
Buck-Morss, Susan

Degree Discipline

Comparative Literature

Degree Name

Ph. D., Comparative Literature

Degree Level

Doctor of Philosophy

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Government Document

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dissertation or thesis

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