On Edge: The Crisis of Contemporary Latin American Culture

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University of Minnesota Press, 1992 - Political Science - 234 pages
A collection of essays on cultural and political innovations in Latin America. The work shows how the penetration of capital and media - known as globalization - into the political and everyday life of Latin America has had far-reaching cultural consequences. The attempt to "integrate" Latin American economies into the "new world order" has provoked a rethinking of questions of modernization, modernity, postmodernity, the meaning of pluralism, and contemporary leftist ideology in general. Within this context, the work explores the transformed terrain of Latin American culture, employing a multi-disciplinary approach that tries to transcend traditional constraints imposed by social science methodologies, historical interpretations, or aesthetic analyses. The contributors focus on the cultural politics of the various struggles in Latin America waged through intellectual and aesthetic practices, including the place of Latin America in the discussion of postmodern culture, a refocusing of the debates concerning "dependency theory" in its relation to cultural production, the relation of the state to cultural activities in Latin America, questions of race and gender, and a review of the effects of military and socialist governments on culture in recent years.

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About the author (1992)

John Martin Flores was born in Alexandria, Virginia on September 29, 1943. He received a bachelor's degree in German-language studies at Queens College and a master's degree and Ph.D. in German literature at Yale University. He began teaching German at Stanford University in 1970. While there, he became involved in the movement to develop Chicano studies curriculums in California. He also changed his name to Juan. In 1975, he returned to New York to work at Centro, where the Latino studies curriculum was being developed for the City University system. Through his work there, he was hired as a professor of black and Puerto Rican studies at Hunter College, where he taught before becoming a professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University in 2006. He was a leading theorist of Latin American studies and a pioneer in the field of "Nuyorican" culture, the arts and language of Puerto Ricans in New York. He wrote more than a dozen books and edited many collections of essays. His books included From Bomba to Hip-Hop and The Diaspora Strikes Back. He died from complications of Guillain-Barre syndrome on December 2, 2014 at the age of 71.