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Conservative Sensibilities: Literary imaginations and the Press in Nineteenth-century Latin America

Sponsored by the Swedish Research Council (2019-2021)

Project members: Andrea Castro och Kari Soriano Salkjelsvik

The current global conservative turn appeals to a nostalgia for a collective past. In nineteenth-century Latin America, where liberal thought was dominant in the formation of the new nations, this nostalgia was also present. However, literary scholars have mainly focused on the relation between literature, nation, and liberal thought.

This three-year project argues that to fully understand cultural resistance to liberal reforms, we need to study the era’s conservative sensibilities –the aesthetic expressions of conservatism. Therefore, we will explore how literary texts published in the main site for public debate, the press, expressed conservative values during the consolidation of two modern nations, Argentina and Mexico.

The first step will be to retrieve the relevant publications from library archives. The second, to engage in a close reading of articles of manners, chronicles, short-stories and other literary pieces published in the press, contextualizing them in the particular contemporary debates. The aim is to describe how aesthetic forms and literary traditions expressed conservative values.

The project will expose matters such as how literature argued for the preservation of social structures or defended Catholic and colonial values. Besides enriching the comprehension of how aesthetics and politics interacted in giving form to conservative values in 19th-century Latin America, the project will contribute to making archival material accessible for further research.

Page Manager: Annika Andersson|Last update: 11/29/2018

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