THE PARADOXES OF LATIN-AMERICAN AND LATINO MULTILINGUAL AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL WRITING BETWEEN 1980 AND 2015
Lives in Translation wants to investigate the complex relations between literary multilingualism and the construction of identity in contemporary autobiographical texts (1980-2015) written by authors from the Southern Cone (Argentina and Chile), from Mexico and by Latino Writers.
The project is funded by the FWO and runs from 01.01.2017 until 30.12.2020.
Exile, migration, postcolonial emancipation and globalization have led to an increase in the number of multilingual literary texts by authors of Spanish-speaking backgrounds from Latin America between 1980 and 2015. This project seeks to explore the possible relationships between different variants of multilingualism and the discursive construction of identity in a corpus of autobiographical texts, taking multilingualism as a symptom of broader cultural processes.
This project aims to look into the textual and paratextual reflections on multilingualism in a corpus of selected autobiographical texts (1980-2015) written by authors from Argentina, Chile and Mexico and by Latino Writers, who all move between languages.
By focusing on the stylistic and discursive dimensions of multilingualism, the researchers want to examine how multilingualism shapes the practice of writing and how it has evolved. Is a metanarrative of problematic identity split as manifested in language struggle, dominant in older texts, and does it give way to other tendencies in the most recent ones? These tendencies might include a more positive appreciation of productive doubling but also the manifestation of key tensions resulting from the decentering impulse of multilingualism in its various configurations, and the centralising role of English as a global language.
Situating these literary trends within their respective societal contexts will contribute to our understanding of evolutions and shifts that have taken place in contemporary Latin American and Latino debates on literary identity, and grant new insights into the ways in which literature both shapes and is shaped by these debates.
Prof. Dr. Ilse Logie (supervisor, Ghent University)
Prof. Dr. An Van Hecke (co-supervisor, KU Leuven)
PhD student Sarah Staes (doctoral researcher, Ghent University)