Hoy: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Present

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Hoy is a bilingual working study group whose goal is to critically read the present in an interdisciplinary way. We are a group of graduate students from different programs at UMD (Spanish, History, Political Science, Sociology, Art History) who have engaged in an intellectual dialogue to read and discuss contemporary cultural debates.  We all share a common desire to explore in depth current trends that attempt to shape Latin American Cultural Studies.

More than an ontological view of the present, this study group explores the fluidity of a time that is extremely difficult to grasp. We approach our present by examining the persistence of the national, the reconfigurations of the regional and the local, the inscriptions of new borders, the emergence of new displacements in our global world. Thus, the hoy we purposely seek is a cultural topography in constant change. We are working with a variety of cultural artifacts (literature, visual arts, films, newspapers, blogs) and disciplines (literary and cultural studies, history, sociology, art history, philosophy, political science). As our goal is to explore some of the most challenging theoretical debates that are shaping our present. Overall, we are articulating reading machines that are more suitable for our time.

Hoy: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Present is part of Latin America in Transit: A Field Committee for the Advancement of Research, sponsored by the Graduate School. It is coordinated by Professor Laura Demaría.

Hoy invites international recognized guest speakers to have round-table discussions, a seminar-style, interactive encounter to foster graduate students participation.

Fall 2020

Lina Meruane

Lina Meruane (Chile 1970). Su obra de ficción incluye la colección de relatos Las Infantas (1998) y cinco novelas: Póstuma (2000), Cercada (2000), Fruta Podrida (2007), Sangre en el Ojo (PRH 2012, publicada en 13 países y traducida a 8 lenguas), y Sistema Nervioso (PRH 2018, traducida a 4 lenguas). Entre sus libros de no ficción se cuentan el ensayo Viajes Virales (2012), la diatriba Contra los hijos (2014) y la crónica Volverse Palestina (2014), merecedora del Premio del Instituto Chileno Árabe de Cultura en 2015. Meruane ha recibido los premios literarios Calamo, Otra Mirada (España 2016), Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (México 2012) y Anna Seghers (Alemania 2011), así como becas de escritura de la Fundación Guggenheim (2004), National Endowment for the Arts (2010), y DAAD Artists in Berlin (2017). Actualmente enseña culturas globales y escritura creativa en la Universidad de Nueva York.

Spring 2019

Pilar Calveiro
Pilar Calveiro is an Argentine political scientist, a doctor of political science residing in Mexico. She exiled to that country after surviving at the Escuela Mecánica de la Armada (ESMA) during the military dictatorship of the 1970s. In her writings she has made important contributions to the analysis of biopower and political violence, as well as recent history and the memory of Argentine repression. Her work has been published in Mexico, Argentina, and France. She is currently a research professor at the Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México (UACM). Her publications include Poder y desaparición, los campos de concentración en Argentina (1998) and Desapariciones, memoria y desmemoria de los campos de desaparición argentinos. She also wrote: Redes familiares de sumisión y resistencia (2003), Familia y poder (2006), Política y/o violencia. Una aproximación a la guerrilla de los años 70 (2006) y Violencias de estado. La guerra antiterrorista y la guerra contra el crimen como medios de control global. (2012).


Spring 2018

Carlos Gamerro
Carlos Gamerro is an Argentinean novelist, critic, and translator. His publications include the novels Las Islas (1998), El sueño del señor juez (2000), El secreto y las voces (2002), La aventura de los bustos de Eva (2004), Un yuppie en la columna del Che Guevara (2011), Cardenio (2016), the book of short stories El libro de los afectos raros (2005) and the books of essays El nacimiento de la literatura argentina (2006), Ulises. Claves de lectura(2008), Ficciones barrocas (2010); Facundo o Martín Fierro (2015) and Borges y los clásicos (2016). Three of his novels have been translated into English: An Open Secret (Pushkin Press, 2011); The Islands (And Other Stories, 2012) and The Adventure of the Busts of Eva Perón (And Other stories, 2015). In collaboration with Rubén Mira he wrote the screenplay for the film Tres de Corazones (2007), directed by Sergio Renán. In 2011, his play Las Islas opened at the Teatro Alvear in Buenos Aires, directed by Alejandro Tantanián. His translations into Spanish include Graham Greene’s A World of One’s Own, W.H. Auden’s The Dyer’s Hand, Harold Bloom’s Poetry and Repression and William Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, Hamlet and The Merchant of Venice. He studied and has taught literature at the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA). In 2007, he was a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University; in 2008, he participated in the International Writers Workshop (Iowa) and in 2012 in the Edinburgh’s World Writers’ Conference.

Francine Masiello
Francine Masiello is Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. She works on topics related to Latin American literature of the 19th and 20th centuries, gender theory, and comparative North/South literatures. Her books include Lenguaje e ideología: los movimientos de vanguardia de los años 20, Between Civilization and Barbarism: Women, Nation, and Literary in Modern ArgentinaEl periodismo femenino del s. xix, and The Art of Transition: Neoliberalism and Latin American Culture. She is also co-author or co-editor of numerous volumes, most recently a book on Manuel Puig’s Kiss of the Spider Woman. Currently, she is writing on Joyce in Latin America.



Spring 2017

Beatriz Sarlo
Beatriz Sarlo is one of Argentina’s most important and influential literary and cultural critics. She has written extensively on Argentine literature and culture. Her own works have become classics in themselves and her essays are necessary reading to understand Argentina. Sarlo was also a founding editor of the cultural journal Punto de vista. Her books include Una modernidad periférica: Buenos Aires, 1920 y 1930 (1988), Borges, un escritor en las orillas (1993), Escenas de la vida posmoderna: Intelectuales, arte y videocultura en la Argentina (1994), La máquina cultural: Maestras, traductores y vanguardistas (1998), Tiempo presente (2001). Viajes: Tiempo pasado: Cultura de la memoria y giro subjetivo (2005), De la Amazonia a Malvinas (2014). 
Sarlo has taught at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Columbia, Maryland, Berkeley and Cambridge; she has been a visiting fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu in Berlin. She has also been a fellow at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in the Humanities. Sarlo also writes regularly for Argentine newspapers and her opinions in the Latin American press can range from art to popular religion and politics.