Late University Cultures: Aesthetic Education in Neoliberal Chile and Argentina. (In preparation).
Late University Cultures presents a new institutionalist account of the entanglement of literature, criticism, higher education, and politics in contemporary Chile and Argentina in order to ground our understanding of contemporary cultural production more broadly in the category of reproductive labor. It advances two main arguments, one historical and the other political. First, I argue that the consolidation of neoliberalism and new canons of social and cultural theory have made the university essential to the reproduction of the literary institution in the democratic era. This is reflected in contemporary fiction writing and the canonization of figures Ricardo Piglia, Diamela Eltit, and Pola Oloixarac. Second, I argue that the effects of neoliberalism on higher education in the Southern Cone have sharpened contradictions internal to academic labor allowing recent social movements—the MTDs in Argentina and the 2011 student movement in Chile—to suggest that study, understood as a form of unwaged, reproductive labor can be wielded for the institution of radical change.
More broadly, the book shows how contemporary shifts in the restricted field of cultural production in the Southern Cone reflect abstract forms of late capitalist domination—especially the compounded crises of social reproduction often figured as precarity, informality, or surplus populations—while also experimenting with or envisioning alternatives. In doing so, it outlines a reproductive labor theory of cultural value informed by aesthetic theory and cultural practices where we find some of the most developed discourses on value alternative to those of capitalist production and exchange.
“Deus Ex Machina: Contemporary Argentina's Literature of Infrastructure"” MLN, March 2023. (Forthcoming).
This article traces the growth of representations of literary infrastructure in Argentinean fiction during the neoliberal era (1976-present). As Argentina’s robust mid-century literary institution has declined, the concrete organizations that constitute its infrastructure—publishing houses, educational institutions, cultural bureaucracies—have become fodder for literary fiction. I argue that literature represents its own infrastructure when that infrastructure comes to present a problem. To make this claim I offer an institutionalist history of Argentinean letters grounded in the country’s turbulent political economy that culminates in a close reading of two works, César Aira’s El congreso de la literatura (1996) and Pola Oloixarac’s Mona (2018), that exemplify what I call Argentina’s literature of infrastructure.
Review of Photopoetics at Tlatelolco: Afterimages of Mexico, 1968, by Samuel Steinberg. Iberoamericana (Vervuert), No. 65, 2017. pp. 311-321.
"Disciplinary Utopia." 2013.
with Christine ‘Xine’ Yao. Montage Histories: Tompkins County through Photographs 1864-2014. 2014.