Mexico is known throughout the world for its bold and innovative tradition of visual culture. Powerful, iconic images like the Aztec piedra de sol, the Day of the Dead's sugar skulls, the illustrations of José Guadalupe Posada, the evocative self-portraits of Frida Kahlo, colorful lucha libre masks, or the Hecho en México eagle logo transcend their original contexts and take on greater meanings as they are diffused and reproduced in global consumer culture.
Mexico's writers frequently engage their country's key paintings, photographs, sculptures, architecture, and other visual images in novels, stories, essays, plays or poems that dialogue with the visual arts through experimentation with intertextuality, ekphrasis, or the strategic framing of scenes. As the dominance of visual culture accelerates, the relationship between images and their paratexts (captions, glosses, titles, or labels), for example, takes on new dynamics. Consequently, the approaches readers take to such texts raise new questions about subjectivity and the limits of genre, while at the same time challenging traditional notions of "high" and "low" cultures. In short, the confluence of text and image both enriches and complicates our efforts to read and interpret the world.
This session will explore the intersection of written texts and visual images in contemporary Mexican cultural productions, with special emphasis given to literature that engages the visual arts. We welcome submissions in Spanish or English that approach novels, stories, plays, poems, or essays from Mexican or US Latino writers from any of these or similar critical perspectives.