Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Marketing marginality: Resistance and commodification in contemporary Latin American cultural production
by Penix-Tadsen, Phillip, Ph.D., Columbia University, 2009, 244; 3393588
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation explores how contemporary Latin American cultural producers have transformed resistance and marginality into valuable commodities within their own unique spheres of influences. Mexican film directors Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Guillermo del Toro, for instance, have exploited a conjoined marginal identity within Hollywood as a springboard to international success, utilizing their collective difference as a key character trait in their creation of a hugely successful real-life cinematic narrative for themselves. Meanwhile, in the case of Argentine novelist César Aira, an ambivalence toward (and at times a venomous critique of) monumental modern authors and the literary works that sustain their personal grandeur constitutes an iconoclastic stance that has ironically helped him win publishing contracts worldwide. In present-day Venezuela, Hugo Chávez's multi-media effort to steer national discourse permeates every possible level of communication, feeding from the symbolic defiance of existing forms of popular media like graffiti writing and radical community television while co-opting them into an ever-expanding official apparatus. Finally, in contemporary Cuba, a region frequently considered “off the map” in terms of the effects of globalization, change is nevertheless happening through the efforts of clandestine bloggers and YouTube fanatics, connecting the necessarily marginalized interventions of illegal participants in banned technologies with an international audience eager to hear their tales of isolation and resistance. Each of these authors of contemporary Latin American culture has utilized a resistant stance and a marginal position as a platform for greater self-promotion and as a vehicle for reaching a more diversified audience of readers, investors, spectators, or citizens. Thus it is not strictly the traits of resistance and marginality that steer contemporary cultural production in Latin America, but rather the conversion of these traits into marketable commodities.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Alonso, Carlos J.
School: Columbia University
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 71/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Modern language, Modern literature, Latin American literature
Keywords: Aira, Cesar, Argentina, Cuaron, Alfonso, Cultural production, Gonzalez-Inarrito, Alejandro, Mexico, Toro, Guillermo del
Publication Number: 3393588
ISBN: 9781109605518
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