Simon Bolivar: Travels and Transformations of a Cultural Icon

Simon Bolivar: Travels and Transformations of a Cultural Icon


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One of Latin America’s most famous historical figures, Simón Bolívar has become a mythic symbol for many nations, empires, and revolutions used to support wildly diverse--sometimes opposite--ideas. From colonial Cuba to Nazi-occupied France to Cold War-era Slovenia, the image of "El Libertador" has variously signified loyalty, national unity, liberation, freedom, and revolt.

In this volume, an array of international and interdisciplinary scholars shows the ways Bolívar has appeared over the last two centuries in painting, fiction, poetry, music, film, festival, dance, city planning, and even reliquary adoration. They illustrate how Bolívar’s body has been exalted, reimagined, or fragmented in different contexts, taking on a range of meanings to represent the politics and poetics of today’s national bodies.

By critically analyzing many examples of cultural Bolivarianisms, or cults of Bolívar, this collection demonstrates the capacity of the arts and humanities to challenge and reinvent hegemonic icons and narratives and, therefore, to be vital to democracy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813054490
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Publication date: 11/07/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Maureen G. Shanahan is professor of art history at James Madison University.

Ana Maria Reyes is assistant professor of Latin American art history at Boston University.

Table of Contents

List of Figures vii

List of Plates ix

Prologue xi

Bolívar Unhinged: An Introduction Maureen G. Shanahan Ana María Reyes 1

Part I Emergence and Consolidation in the Nineteenth Century

1 Simón Bolívar's Itinerant Portraits: Visual Conquest and the Production of an Icon Emily A. Engel 27

2 Dancing with the Enemy: Diplomacy in the Revolutionary Era Juan Francisco Sans 48

3 Bolivarian Imagery and Racial Ideology in Early Nineteenth-Century Cuba Paul Niell 62

4 Simón Bolívar's Centennial Anniversary: Music for a Triumphal Parade Juan de Dios López maya 78

5 The Birth of the Myth: The Liberals and the Cult of Bolívar (1840-1900) Tomás Straka 96

Part II Disruptions and Unhingings in the Twentieth Century

6 Bolívar on the Operatic Stage: Enlightenment Hero and Tyrannical Failure Maureen G. Shanahan 115

7 Centro Simón Bolívar: A Symbol of Liberation for Revolution Square in Ljubljana, Slovenia Tina Potocnik 133

8 In Bed with Dead Bolívar: Beatriz González's Case for Critical History Painting Ana María Reyes 148

9 El Gran Dispensador by Manuel Trujillo: The Weaknesses of the National Hero Alicia Ríos 169

10 Moving Histories: Performing Bolívar in Jorge Alí Triana's Film Bolívar Soy Yo (2002) Armida de la Garza 183

Part III Re-Anchorings in the Late Twentieth and Early Twenty-First Centuries

11 The Liberator's Sword: The Most Precious Relic of the Bolivarian Revolution Alejandro E. Gómez Pernia 199

12 When the Boat Comes In: Myth, Reification, and the Changing Face of Simón Bolívar in Venezuelan Politics and Culture Nicholas Roberts 215

13 Embodiments and Disembodiments of the Nation, the People, and the State: Disputing Bolívar's Body, and the Uses of Bolivarianism in Contemporary Venezuelan Politics Luis Duno-Gottberg 230

List of Contributors 247

Index 251

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