Two and the Same America(s): Anglo American Readings by Latin American Writers; towards a Transnational Literature

March 16, 2013 // by tania

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Universitat de Barcelona

Head researcher: Dr. Dunia Gras

Research team: Dr. Rodrigo Andrés, Dr. Cristina Alsina, Dr. Antono Torres, Dr. Tania Pleitez, Laura López Peña, Cristian Pérez de Guzmán Vallejo

Start date: January 2013

Description: This project aims at starting a new research area, within the field of transnational studies, which focuses on intercultural relationships between the Anglophone and Spanish-speaking traditions in the American continent. It specifically aims at analyzing the intercultural dialogues between the North-American literary canon and contemporary Latin-American literature represented by the oeuvres of “boom” writers such as Rodrigo Fresán (Argentina), Santiago Roncagliolo (Peru), Juan Gabriel Vásquez (Colombia), Jordi Soler (Mexico), Leonardo Valencia (Ecuador) and Juan Villoro (Mexico). The relationship between Latin-American writers and North-American literature has a long foreground and it can be specially appreciated in 19th and 20th c. literature.  In this sense, the admiration of Latin-American writers for the masters of US fiction is evident, in recurrent and varied manifestations, in texts by the “boom” writers. These games of intertextualities and influences, however, have not received their due academic attention. No comprehensive study on this area of research has been published, other than specific case studies and rare articles in specialized magazines. Interestingly enough, new studies have been published recently that analyze the influence of Latin-American literature in that of the USA, particularly observing the echoes of magic realism in US Anglophone narrative. This project wants to be among the first to study the reverse influence and to contribute, thus, to filling this gap in the specialized scientific production. One of the additional strengths of the project is to aim at studying Latin-American literature from hemispheric, transnational and global perspectives, transcending, thus, the disciplinary boundaries which encapsulate the study of literary traditions within the realm of the nation-state. We opt instead to study the comparative and interdisciplinary dialogues between different cultural, linguistic and literary American traditions. We aim, therefore, to establish the existence of a transnational and transcultural community of writers who read and influence one another and to make visible the cultural synergies between both hemispheres. Ours is, therefore, an interdisciplinary project which both draws on a radically different geo-political map and rearticulates, on the one hand, the notion of “America” and, on the other, our traditionally segmentalized areas of study.

We are now preparing the publication of a book that will include several articles on the topic.  For updates, visit our Facebook page.

The first colloquium of the project was held on May, 16th (2014).  Here is the program:




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