Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Shifting Cartographies: Transformations of Urban Space in Buenos Aires, 1920-2001
by Przybyla, Gregory Joseph, Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo, 2017, 212; 10608306
Abstract (Summary)

This project proposes to re-conceptualize the city of Buenos Aires through the works of three Argentine authors. This work will move away from a univocal understanding of the city, and will re-think Buenos Aires as a confluence of meanings that subjects navigate and negotiate daily to destabilize metanarratives of urban space. In this work, the tropes of the (in)visible and performance/movement will bridge the three chapters, challenging us to distance ourselves from the oversimplified understandings that rely heavily on the visual. As such, urban space will be seen as under construction because it is always conditioned by the presence and performance of the subject.

Chapter one will work through Roberto Arlt’s Aguafuertes porteñas. It will highlight his attacks on institutions like the Escuelas normales and the Sociedad Argentina de Escritores (SADE) that looked to homogenize culture under the banner of argentinidad, and argue how his aguafuertes contest a dogmatic system of signs while serving as a critical starting point in the emergence of the margins in the city. Chapter two will interrogate Carlos Gorostiza’s play, El puente (1948), written during Perón’s first presidency (1946-1955). It will focus on one figure in particular – the Madre – and show how performativity of this newly-mobilized subject destabilizes and recasts notions of the city by contesting normative behaviors reified by the upper classes during the 1930s and early 1940s. Chapter three reads César Aira’s novel La villa, incorporating the concepts of topography and topology as instruments to illuminate the villa miseria’s impact on modern representations of urban space during Argentina’s political shift from neoliberalism to neopopulism at the turn of the 21st century.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Read, Justin
Commitee: Culleton, Colleen, Trumper, Camilo
School: State University of New York at Buffalo
Department: Romance Languages and Literatures
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 79/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Latin American literature, Latin American Studies
Keywords: Argentina, Arlt, Roberto, Buenos Aires, Neoliberalism, Performativity, Peronism, Space
Publication Number: 10608306
ISBN: 978-0-355-30924-9
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