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    Original Essays | September 21, 2015

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Jean Franco’s work as a pathbreaking theorist, cultural critic, and scholar has helped to define Latin American studies over the last three decades. In the process, Franco has played a crucial role in developing cultural studies in both the English- and Spanish-speaking worlds. Critical Passions is the first volume to gather a wide-ranging selection of Franco’s influential essays.

A key participant in the major debates in Latin American studies—beginning with the “boom” period of the 1960s and continuing through debates on ideology and discourse, Marxism, mass culture, and postmodernism—Franco is recognized for her feminist critique of Latin American writing. While her principal books are all readily available, Franco’s several dozen articles are dispersed in a variety of periodicals in Latin America, Europe, and the United States. Although many of these essays are considered pioneering and classic, they have never before been collected in a single work. In this volume, Mary Louise Pratt and Kathleen Newman have organized the essays into four interrelated sections: feminism and the critique of authoritarianism, mass and popular culture, Latin American literature from the “boom” onward, and the cultural history of Mexico. As a group, these writings demonstrate Franco’s ability to reflect on and judge with equal seriousness all spheres of expression, whether subway graffiti, a fashion manual, or an avant-garde haiku. A bona fide fan of popular and mass media, Franco never allows her critiques to dissolve into the puritanical or reductive; instead, she finds ways to present and debate complex theoretical questions in direct and accessible language.

This volume will draw an extensive readership in Latin American, cultural, and women’s studies.


The author, one of the most influential Latin Americanists in the US, has published a number of books, but none display the importance of her work in literary criticism, cultural studies and marxist and feminist theory as successfully as this collection o

About the Author

“A formidable compendium of Franco’s critical thought, attesting to the evolution of a brilliant avant-garde intellectual who has set the pace for serious inquiry in the Latin American field as we know it today. Critical Passions is not simply a tribute to Franco but an urgent recounting of the progression of a field of study that she has helped shape.”—Francine Masiello, author of Between Civilization and Barbarism: Women, Nation, and Literary Culture in Modern Argentina
“Pratt and Newman have done the critical readership an immense service by collecting these far-flung essays by one of our foremost critics. This learned feminist touches upon issues of history and identity, of cultural politics and the study of globality, from a political perspective that remains resolutely focused on social justice.”—Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, author of A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present
“The essays collected in this volume reflect the range, innovativeness, theoretical clarity, and analytical power that have made Jean Franco’s work a beacon of light in the study of Latin American culture.”—Susan Kirkpatrick, author of Las Romanticas: Women Writers and Subjectivity in Spain

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction: The Committed Critic / Mary Louise Pratt and Kathleen Newman 1

1 Feminism and the Critique of Authoritarianism 9

2 Mass and Popular Culture 133

3 Latin American Literature: The Boom and Beyond 233

4 Mexico 429

Afterword: The Twighlight of the Vanguard and the Rise of Criticism (1994-1995) 503

Biographical Note 517

Index 519

Product Details

Newman, Kathleen E.
Pratt, Mary L.
Newman, Kathleen E.
Franco, Jean
Newman, Kathleen M.
Fish, Stanley
Pratt, Mary Louise
Jameson, Fredric
Pratt, Mary L.
Duke University Press
Durham, N.C. :
Feminism & Feminist Theory
Popular Culture
Latin america
American - Hispanic American
Spanish american literature
Women and literature
Politics and culture
Latin America Civilization.
Feminist Studies-General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Post-Contemporary Interventions
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
9.23x6.11x1.20 in. 2.04 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » Literary and Cultural Studies
Science and Mathematics » Physics » General

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The author, one of the most influential Latin Americanists in the US, has published a number of books, but none display the importance of her work in literary criticism, cultural studies and marxist and feminist theory as successfully as this collection o
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