New Literary Practices in 21st-century Mexico (53rd Annual Convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA))
Organization: Johns Hopkins University, University at Buffalo
Event: 53rd Annual Convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
Chairs: Fernando Banuelos (New York University), Alonso Burgos Vazquez Mellado (Princeton University)
This panel aims to create a dialogue about recent experimental writing practices in Mexico. Over the last two decades, Mexican literature, along with its institutions, has become unrecognizable from what it was at the turn of the century. Recent phenomena such as widening access to digital technologies, corporate consolidation in publishing, and the rise and fall of State funding for culture have played a role in changing the material conditions under which writing occurs. Moreover, the central force behind this transformation has been the radical experiments that authors, publishers and critics have undertaken at all levels of literary production. The explorations undertaken by different actors of the literary field have resulted in formal experiments which go beyond standard interfaces (i. e., “the book” or “the page”) as well as forms of writing and distribution which challenge established notions of copyright, authorship, and publishing. These writing practices not only strain literature as a concept and an institution, but pose a wide range of critiques to entrenched notions of property rights, sovereignty and autonomy, both literary and political.
The papers presented at this panel shouldn’t be limited to close readings, but should also include inquiries that confront literature at sociological, anthropological, medium-oriented, and material levels. Recent Mexican literature has transformed itself beyond recognition, and it has the potential to render the nation unrecognizable as well. This radical change demands that scholars revise and update the methodologies and theoretical paradigms we use in order to meet the challenges presented by the new coordinates of the Mexican literary field.