Political Dreams and Nightmares in Iberian and Latin American Literatures

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Spanish Graduate Students Committee-University of Chicago
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Keynote Speaker: Arcadio Díaz-Quiñones: Emory L. Ford Professor of Spanish, Princeton University

In addition to marking the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution and Portugal’s becoming a republic, 2010 is a year of important bicentennials. 200 years ago, while Spain began to
refortify its national government at the Cadiz Cortes, the Spanish Empire was being challenged both on the Peninsula by Napoleonic France, as well as in its colonies. From Caracas to
Guanajuato, Buenos Aires to Santiago, independence was declared and defended. Given the impact of these historic moments in the Hispanic world, the Spanish Graduate Students Committee of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at The University of Chicago is organizing its Fourth Annual Conference entitled “Political Dreams and Nightmares,” which will take place April 15-16, 2011 at the Franke Institute for the Humanities
at The University of Chicago.

The list of questions we hope to consider includes, but certainly is not limited to, the following:

• What are the political dreams and nightmares imagined in Iberian and Latin American literatures?

• How are political dreams (and nightmares) represented in the oral, written and visual cultures of the Iberian and Latin American world?

• How are politically significant moments portrayed? What textual strategies are employed in their representations? What are the metaphors used to mask political messages that might be limited due to censorship?

• How are conquests, re-conquests, emancipation, independence, revolutions, etc. imagined in Iberian and Latin American literatures?

• How do Medieval and/or Early Modern texts treat political ideas and programs? What are their political dreams and nightmares?

• How are these dreams and nightmares supported, challenged, celebrated, subverted or undermined in literary forms? When do dreams become nightmares?

• How does the author see his/her role when confronted with pressing political issues? How has the author’s relationship to politics changed and shifted? How does the author’s
perspective on political events add to our historical knowledge of the past?

• How are political dreams and nightmares performed?

• How does language itself participate in the (de)construction of political movements?

• What political theories are expressed or implied through the dreams and nightmares of Hispanic literatures?

The conference organizing committee welcomes papers from all theoretical perspectives in English, Spanish or Portuguese. Interdisciplinary proposals are particularly encouraged. Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes in length (7-8 typed pages, double-spaced). Abstracts of approximately 250 words may be sent as a Word attachment to: politicalnightmares@gmail.com by December 15, 2010.

For more information, visit: http://lucian.uchicago.edu/blogs/sgsc

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