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Title: Los teatros de la muerte. Ficciones del cadáver en la modernidad (Colombia y México 1930 - 1960).
Authors: Hernandez Castellanos, Camilo Ernesto
Advisors: Nouzeilles, Gabriela
Cadava, Eduardo
Contributors: Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures Department
Keywords: Colombia
Subjects: Latin American studies
Latin American literature
Art criticism
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: The present dissertation postulates the dead body as a cultural signifier in which it is possible to read social, political, ethical, and aesthetic meanings and practices during the first half of twentieth century Latin America. Drawing from a close examination of Mexican and Colombian examples in which the corpse articulates specific symbolic relations, this dissertation posits a set of inquiries concerning political and aesthetic representation, embodiment, language, and the social and representational protocols implicit in the production of modern discourse networks.These examples map the diverse mediums and symbolic systems (photography, film, narrative) in which the corpse was most frequently imagined, appropriated, and reconfigured as part of Latin American political, legal, artistic, and medical discourses. The first of these examples is El caso Gallegos, a murder committed in Mexico City in 1934. Originally presented as a journalistic event in the Mexican newspapers of the time, this murder was later reimagined twice: first, in the detective novel Ensayo de un crimen (Rodolfo Usigli, 1944), and then in Luis Buñuel's film, La vida criminal de Archibaldo de la Cruz (1955). The second instance of analysis is the work of Mexican photojournalist Enrique Metinides, whose harsh and carefully composed photographs of corpses and urban tragedies circulated over various decades in sensationalist Mexican magazines, and more recently, in several international museums. The last instance of analysis is the photographic register of the 1948 assassination of Colombian political leader Jorge Eliecer Gaitán. Through the study of these three symbolic appropriations of the corpse, the present dissertation aspires to transform the conceptual, or even metaphysical, questioning of death into an inquiry about its immediate material reality: who or what represents death as a biological process? How is the corpse symbolically appropriated? Who sees these representations, and under what circumstances? What mechanisms allow for its inclusion in the modern dynamics of mass consumption? What do these dynamics tell us about Latin America's epistemological, representational, political, and aesthetic experience? Can the corpse be thought of as a foundational entity in the constitution of a specific twentieth century field of vision, knowledge, and power in Latin America?
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: es
Appears in Collections:Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures

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