Research

Adrian Paci, “Moments of Transition” (2016)

Adrian Paci, “Moments of Transition” (2016)

My research interests include post-45 U.S. and Latin American literature, Marxist critical theory and contemporary photography. I’m currently completing a dissertation titled Writing in the Interregnum: The Aesthetics of Transition in the Americas, 1973-Present. I argue for periodizing contemporary cultural production in relation to the long crisis of the 1970s, which radically restructured the economic world-system. Inside of this period, which I recognize as an interregnum—a historical moment marked by the erosion of the postwar liberal compact with no viable alternative in sight—the work of César Aira, Roberto Bolaño, Francisco Goldman, Karen Tei Yamashita and Juan Villoro, among others, encodes the indeterminacy of the present and the necessity of imagining democratic alternatives to neoliberalism.

My next project, Photography and the Administered World, analyzes a set of contemporary photographers—Alejandro Cartagena, Livia Corona Benjamin, Anthony Hernandez and Pablo Lopez Luz—who turn their cameras away from people and toward the administered landscapes of neoliberalism, documenting the emergence of infrastructure, exurban sprawl, tourist enclaves and impermanent housing in the Global South. Embracing the legacy of the New Topographics in the mid-1970s, these photographers attempt to make visible the real abstraction that animates the construction of our built environments, representing a world made not for us, but one made according to the needs of capital.