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Title: Narcoviolencia in Contemporary Mexican Culture
Authors: Halvey, Ruth
Advisors: Nouzeilles, Gabriela
Contributors: Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures Department
Subjects: Latin American literature
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Narcoviolencia in Contemporary Mexican Culture analyzes cultural production that emerged during the crisis of narcoviolencia, beginning with the Ciudad Juárez femicides in the 1990s through the wake of the public protests of the 2014 Ayotzinapa massacre. Narcoviolencia is characterized by spectacular cruelty aimed at reducing resistance to expressions of necropolitical power and at shutting down the public sphere; it is also characterized and by uncertainty about the identities of the dead and the circumstances surrounding their deaths. With few other available avenues for political contestation, cultural interventions provide sites for the articulation of distrust toward official explanations of the violence and for the articulation of public secrets about culpability. Works of art, literature, and film ask what role members of the public can have in restraining necropolitical power and in overcoming uncertainties and silences. The dissertation argues that one of the primary strategies for countering the public’s sense of powerlessness is the prevailing representation of a broad and engaged public that shares the same grief, the same vulnerabilities to violence, and the same perception of reality as intolerable. The first chapter examines so-called narconovelas by Élmer Mendoza and Eduardo Antonio Parra, which elucidate otherwise invisible networks and consider the allure of power that narcotrafficking offers, and the films Miss Bala and Heli, which dispute the ungrievability of victims and the state-imposed label of narco criminal. The second chapter evaluates literary fiction by Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda, Daniel Sada, and Roberto Bolaño, all of whom indict the figure of the complicit intellectual and reorient the public’s attention toward the country’s peripheral spaces. The third chapter surveys the primacy that the image has achieved in the information void that surrounds the events of narcoviolencia, and includes analysis of artwork by photographers and by the conceptual artist Teresa Margolles, whose work addresses the alienating spectacle of narcoviolencia that disregards victims’ identities.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures

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