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Call for Papers: 2012 Conference on Carlos Fuentes
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2012 Conference on Carlos Fuentes: Ancient Mexico, Modernity, and the Literary Avant-Garde May 7-8, 2012 Golden Eagle Ballroom California State University, Los Angeles The deadline for a one-page abstract of conference papers is January 31, 2012

When: 1/31/2012
Where: California State University,
Los Angeles, California 
United States
Contact: Dr. Roberto Cantú
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2012 Conference on Carlos Fuentes:
Ancient Mexico, Modernity,
and the Literary Avant-Garde
May 7-8, 2012
Golden Eagle Ballroom
California State University, Los Angeles

Sponsored by

UCLA'sDepartment of Spanish and Portuguese,
and Cal State L.A.'sGigi Gaucher-Morales MemorialLectureSeries, and
theEmeriti Association

Carlos Fuentes (b. November 11, 1928) ranks as the most acclaimed modern novelist in Mexico and one of the central figures in Latin America’sliterary "Boom,” a generation thatconsists ofJulio Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez and, among others, Mario Vargas Llosa. Raised in a family that represented Mexico’s economic and diplomatic interests in Latin America and in the United States, Fuentes is an award-winningnovelist often associated with questions of national identity, historical origins, Mexico’s capital as a megacity, and the unresolved conflicts--with Spain, with theUnited States, and with itself--that define Mexico as a modern nation.

Fromhis earlyshort stories in Los días enmascarados (1954),tonovels and essaysthat includeLa región más transparente (1958), Cambio de piel (1967),Terra Nostra (1975),and Los cinco soles de México, memoria de un milenio (2000), Fuentes hasportrayed Mesoamerica—generally allegorized as Mexico-Tenochtitlan,therefore with an emphasis on theNahua--as a determining force in modern Mexico, and as an integral partin the world'shistory of ruling transnational powers. The unresolved cultural and social conflicts between Mexico’s native peoples in relation to the Spanish conquest and colonial New Spain remain to this day a thematic constant in Fuentes’s novels and essays,portrayed as the fundamental background and condition to Mexico’s modernization and political development as a democracy. Fuentes’s novels thus markthe historical present as an artistic possibility forreflection and symbolic resolution to modernity’s most crucial questions,arguably ajuncture shared by Mexico with other developing countries.

Thesimultaneous representation ofthe nationaland the global in Fuentes's narrative has been a determining factor in itstranslations to major world languages. An impressive bibliography of critical studieshasrecognized in Fuentes's workawill to poetry and an energetic narrative experimentation stemming from 20th-century aesthetic movements, such as Cubism and Surrealism. Consistent with his views on national origins--often defined by Fuentes asMexico's question ofbeingand becoming, or as the weight ofthe past andthe spur of adesired future--Fuentes claims a double origin for the modern novel: on the one hand,asan avant-garde poetics intent on redefiningart and its function in a contemporary world; on the other, astheuninterrupted artistic heritagethat Latin America's literarymodernity has embraced and appropriatedin Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote de la Mancha.

The organizers of this conference invite papers on Fuentes’s novels, short stories, essays, literary criticism, and plays. The following are a few suggested topics:
1. Carlos Fuentes's short stories: from Los días enmascarados (1954), to Inquieta compañía (2004).

2. Ancient Mexico and its representationsin thework of Carlos Fuentes.
3. The essay: Tiempo mexicano (1970); El espejo enterrado (1992); Los cinco soles de México, memoria de un milenio (2000).

4. Theatre: from Todos los gatos son pardos (1970), to Ceremonias del alba (1990).

5. Carlos Fuentes in World Literature: Translators and Translations.

6. Utopia, epic, and myth in the novels and essays by Carlos Fuentes.

7. The United States, Spain, and Latin America in the narrative and essays of Carlos Fuentes:a web of relations and their critique.

8. Post-PRI Mexico, the Electronic Age, and the modern megacity in La silla del águila (2002), and La voluntad y la fortuna (2008).

9. Carlos Fuentes’s literary criticism and theory in La nueva novela hispanoamericana (1969), and inMiguel de Cervantes o la crítica de la lectura (1976).

10. Modernity, the nation, and the world in Carlos Fuentes’s novels and essays: from La región más transparente (1958), to El espejo enterrado (1992).

11. A legacy of unresolved national contradictions: the 1910 Mexican Revolution and the 1994 Zapatista Insurrection in Carlos Fuentes’s novels and essays.

12. Representations of a post-PRI Mexico and narco-violence in Fuentes’s novels and essays.

13. The Gothic literary tradition in the novels of Carlos Fuentes.

14. The Avant-Garde, Latin American literature,and Carlos Fuentes.

15. Carlos Fuentes andEuropean Realism, from Cervantes to Balzac.

16. Carlos Fuentes and Mexico'spost-Boom generation ofnovelists:continuity andchange.

17. Archaeology at the Templo Mayor, 1976-present: revisionsin Mesoamerican history, and impact onMexican art and literature.

18. Recent Mesoamerican studies in the Puebla-Oaxaca region: codices, myth narratives, and tribute relations with Mexico-Tenochtitlan.

19. Peoples of the Book: Mesoamerica, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism in Carlos Fuentes'sTerra Nostra.

20. Carlos Fuentes and Octavio Paz: intergenerational ideas of nationalhistory,a writer'spolitics,and the declineofavant-garde art in the modern world.

The deadline for a one-page abstract of conference papers isJanuary 31, 2012. The submitted abstracts will be peer-reviewed, and their acceptance or rejection will be communicated by e-mail on or before February 15. Send your abstract as an electronic attachment to rcantu@calstatela.eduor mail to the following address:

Dr. Roberto Cantú
Professor of Chicano Studies and English
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032

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