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"Borroneando y chachareando: modos siniestros de po-etizar"

Alfaro, Raquel Ursula (2010) "Borroneando y chachareando: modos siniestros de po-etizar". Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Assuming that -in one way or another- Latin American literature deals with the shock caused by the conquest and colonization of the New World, my dissertation reads this literature by paying special attention to texts that by undermining Western hegemonic logics, successfully perform decolonization. It is in the process of drawing this alternative map for reading Latin American literatures, that I have realized the extent to which "memory" becomes a key factor in decolonizing literary projects. It is a special configuration of memory that keeps literature loyal to the lettered city's principles, turning it into a colonizing device. In that regard, it is assumed that the only way to deal with otherness is to wipe out any sign of difference that may eventually disturb hegemonic discourses. Memory, however, can also work in a different direction, uncovering alliances between writing and power, and by so doing confronting dominant narratives with other rationalities. In this sense, memory proves to be strongly linked to the creation, reproduction, updating and deconstruction of cultural imaginaries. Understood as a tool of decolonization, memory opens the way to alternative epistemologies. Trying to identify epistemological differences between projects of decolonization based on specific uses of memory, I have selected a body of texts produced in a diverse set of geopolitical areas. First, I concentrate on literary works emerged from locations where a massive indigenous population proactively affects the formation of a given national culture, producing the emergence of subjectivities and forms of socialization other than those legitimized by cultural and historical elites. In a second approach, I examine how a similar process takes place in zones with reduced indigenous settlements and/or where Indians have largely been made invisible by national power centers. In these cases, literature achieves a decolonizing performance by contaminating itself with the same cultural logics that the elites seek to isolate. In this way, nations that imagine themselves as "clean" of the Indian, are nevertheless able to produce a literature that unexpectedly questions hegemonic discourses by indirectly making connections with indigenous rationalities.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Alfaro, Raquel Ursularua@pitt.eduRUA
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMonasterios, Elizabethelm15@pitt.eduELM15
Committee MemberSanabria, HarrySanabria@pitt.eduSANABRIA
Committee MemberHerlinghaus, Hermannhxh@pitt.eduHXH
Committee MemberBeverley, Johnbrq@pitt.eduBRQ
Committee MemberDuchesne-Winter, Juanduchesne@pitt.eduDUCHESNE
Date: 28 September 2010
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 15 April 2010
Approval Date: 28 September 2010
Submission Date: 24 May 2010
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Hispanic Languages and Literatures
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Decolonizing Process; Latin American Literarure
Other ID:, etd-05242010-162745
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:45
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:43


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