Carnal Inscriptions: Spanish American Narratives of Corporeal Difference and Disability

Overview

While Latin American literary tradition frequently has been read with attention to monstrosity or the calibanesque, as overarching metaphors of collective identity or otherness, the specific roles and potential agency of disabled people as such rarely have been addressed in the context of this literature. Carnal Inscriptions explores manifestations of physical disability in Spanish American narrative fiction and performance, from José Martí’s late nineteenth century crónicas, to Mario Bellatín’s twenty-first ...

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Overview

While Latin American literary tradition frequently has been read with attention to monstrosity or the calibanesque, as overarching metaphors of collective identity or otherness, the specific roles and potential agency of disabled people as such rarely have been addressed in the context of this literature. Carnal Inscriptions explores manifestations of physical disability in Spanish American narrative fiction and performance, from José Martí’s late nineteenth century crónicas, to Mario Bellatín’s twenty-first century novels, from the performances of Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Coco Fusco to the testimonio and filmic depictions of Gabriela Brimmer. Readings combine critical approaches from the fields of Latin American cultural studies and disability studies, and emphasize intersections and disjunctures between metaphors of corporeal difference and monstrosity, and material histories of disabled or otherwise different bodies. The book calls for an ethics of interpretation, addressing the lived experiences of individual bodies and communities, through their entanglement with narrative and performative representation. This analysis points towards redefinitions of corporeality and disability in the contexts of Spanish American cultural production, and contributes to contemporary scholarly interest in disability and performance.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A breakthrough book in literary disability theory. In addition to bringing our attention to an array of fascinating texts, Antebi offers broadly usable paradigms, particularly because her focus is so often on contemporary forms that daily catch the eye: freak shows, talk shows, performance art pieces, testimonio. Carnal Inscriptions is a politically astute and ethically grounded work of criticism by one of the most original, sophisticated and exciting new voices in disability studies in the humanities.”—Susan Schweik, University of California, Berkeley, Author of The Ugly Laws

“Antebi's Carnal Inscriptions: Spanish American Narratives of Corporeal Difference and Disability is the first English-language study to deal with the representation of physical difference, real and imagined, in contemporary Spanish American fiction. This book is a major contribution to cultural studies and the function of disability discourses in Spanish American writing. Antebi is sensitive to the history and fantasy of physical difference, including that of ‘race,’ in the diverse cultures of Latin and South America in ways that any scholar interested in disability studies, literary studies, or Spanish American culture will find engaging and enlightening.”—Sander L. Gilman, Emory University, Author of Fat: A Cultural History of Obesity

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Susan Antebi is Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of California, Riverside.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
• Introduction
• Chapter 1 - Caliban and Coney Island. Corporeal Difference in the Crónicas of José Martí and José Juan Tablada
• Chapter 2 - La doble y única mujer: the doubled bodies of Pablo Palacio and Jorge Velasco Mackenzie
• Chapter 3 - Corporeal difference as ethnicity
• Chapter 4 - Performance and revenge
• Chapter 5 - Photographic Fictions and Corporeal Geographies
• Chapter 6 - Gabriela Brimmer: Enabling testimonio

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