Alejandro Zamora, professor in the Department of Hispanic Studies at Glendon, will be featured as the guest speaker on Feb. 3 when York U’s Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) presents an event in its International Speaker Series.
Zamora will give a talk entitled “Undoing modern subjectivities: Childhood, infancy and the contemporary Mexican novel of deformation” from 4 to 5:30pm at 956 Kaneff Tower.
In this presentation, Zamora will explore Bildungsroman, Künstlerroman, coming of age novels and the like and how they have been conceptualized and studied on a biologic or developmental assumption – that it is the child or the young who becomes the adult.
The process, as put by critics, is portrayed “in reciprocal allegories of self-making and nation-building,” resulting in novels that are “a symbolic form of modernity”.
This talk proposes a different reading of novels of childhood (Bildung and others) based on a comparative analysis – that children are a deconstructive figure for the adult. It proposes that it is actually the adult who is on a quest for infancy, engaged in a narrative process of self-unmaking and questioning, by this very process, the formation by which one becomes adult in a specific context, according to specific values. These are, therefore, novels of deformation.
Drawing from theories of the subject by Giorgio Agamben and Walter Benjamin, this talk will focus on the case of the contemporary Mexican (deformation) novel.
Zamora holds a Licenciatura degree in Hispanic literature from the UNAM, and a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Montreal. His scholarly interests are literary and cultural theory, contemporary novel and discourse analysis. His publications include the book Jugar por amor propio (Bern: Peter Lang, 2009) and several scholarly articles and book chapters.
The event is sponsored by CERLAC. For information, visit the event page. All are welcome to attend.