Latin America Writes Back

Postmodernity in the Periphery. An Interdisciplinary Cultural Perspective

Ed. Emil Volek
After years of marginalization in the international debate on global change, Latin American scholars present their own response to the theories and practices of postmodernity in this collection of essays. The editor of this volume has assembled contributions across a range of interdisciplinary perspectives that illuminate contemporary Latin American culture by high-lighting from within many changes scarcely noticed in Europe and the U.S. Issues discussed in light of these recent changes include the notorious Latin American conflicts with modernity, the vexing problems of cultural identity, strategies of resistance to global trends, and the pervasive misconceptions about Latin American culture perpetuated within the United States and Europe. Together the essays clarify that Latin America is neither what is used to be nor what it is expected to be, but rather a new reality long overlooked by the world beyond.

Table of Contents


Is Changing Reality, Changing Paradigm: Who Is Afraid of Postmodernity?
Emil Volek

Part I. Macondo or Death, But Not Exactly: The Case of Unrequited Modernity That Does Not Go Away

Chapter 1

Traditionalism and Modernity in Latin American Culture
José Joaquín Brunner

Chapter 2

Modernity and Postmodernity in the Periphery
Jesús Martín Barbero

Chapter 3

Communications: Decentering Modernity
Jesús Martín Barbero

Part II. Changing Identities, or “Where do we come from” and “Where we are going?”

Chapter 4

The Challenges of Postmodernity and Globalization: Multiple or Fragmented Identities?
Fernando Ainsa

Chapter 5

Postmodernism and Latin American Identity
Jorge Larraín

Chapter 6

Latin American Identity—Dramatized
José Joaquín Brunner

Part III. Changing Realities, Politics, Arts: Strategies of/for Resistance

Chapter 7

Autochthonous Cultures and the Global Market
Mario Roberto Morales

Chapter 8

Post-Cities and Politics: New Urban Movements in the Two Americas
Armando Silva

Chapter 9

Modern and Postmodern Aesthetics in Contemporary Argentine Theater (1985–1997)
Osvaldo Pelletieri

Chapter 10

Polarized Modernity: Latin America at the Postmodern Juncture
Raúl Bueno

Chapter 11

The Latin American Writer in These Postmodern Times
Abelardo Castillo

Part IV. Changing Cultural Dossier: Some Classic Texts from the 1990s

Chapter 12

Variations on Postmodernity, or, What Does the Latin American Postboom Mean?
Mempo Giardinelli

Chapter 13

Latin America and Postmodernity
Nelly Richards

Chapter 14

Critique of Global Philosophy, Five Hundred Years Later
Rafael Ángel Herra

Chapter 15

Cultural Topologies
Daniel Altamiranda and Hernán Thomas


Postmodernity in the Periphery Is Not What You Think
Horacio Machín