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A Script that Nobody Reads: Bodies / Materiality / Media
A Script that Nobody Reads: Bodies / Materiality / Media
WhenMonday, Mar. 2, 2020, 3:30 – 5 p.m.
Campus locationUniversity of Washington Club (FAC)
Campus roomYukon Pacific Room
Event typesLectures/Seminars

Virtual reality, digital social spaces, drones, self-driving cars, the quantified self delineate a bodiless landscape in our media ecology. This presentation excavates the conflicting nineteenth-century origins of this dream of disembodiment and how it came to shape Latin America’s technological and poetic imagination. Combining approaches from media archeology, poetics, experimental art, and infrastructure studies, the talk analyzes a contradiction in the episteme of technology in Latin America at the turn of the 20th century –the utopian promise of emancipation (clothed in the rhetoric of liberal democracy) against the looming fear of alienation and detachment brought forth by urban technological modernity. This presentation is a chapter of my book project Scrambled messages: telegraphic poetics and the new Atlantic language, which studies the ways in which Latin American cultural production between 1870 and 1930 engages a discussion of the materiality of media in relation to new geolinguistic mappings that resist the promotion of American English as a global idiom of universal democracy.

About Mayra Bottaro
Mayra Bottaro is an Assistant Professor of Spanish at the University of Oregon.  She is co-chair of the Nineteenth-Century Latin American Studies Association section.

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