As we enter into the two hundredth anniversary period of Simón Bolívar’s leadership of the Admirable Campaign in 1813, the formation of Gran Colombia in the 1820s, and his death in 1830, the myth of Bolívar continues to loom large. The “Bolívar” image and narrative have come to stand for a wide array of political and social meanings and have been configured in diverse forms of cultural production in music, visual arts, literature, historical narratives, film and television, and performance arts. Cultural formations of the “Bolívar” story are as wide-ranging as Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novels to Diego Risquez’s films and offer a rich lens through which to understand multiple mythologies of nation, liberation, and official discourse. While there is a significant body of historical and documentary work about the man, his contemporaries, the independence era and canonical texts, there is much more cultural engagement than the current literature reflects. Our aim is an edited collection of essays about the broad constellation of “Bolívar” phenomena.
Numerous questions arise and are the impetus for this edited collection. For example, how has the image or name of “Bolívar” come to signify in multiple temporal moments or national cultures as a sign of “liberation” or hegemonic discourse? How has Bolívar’s signification metamorphosed contingent upon historically specific conceptions of “liberty,” “freedom,” or “nation”? When and how has Manuela Sáenz become a sign of female agency or gender as performance? How have Hipolita, Precipitacion, Nicanor, José Pedilla (the Afro-Peruvian general) or other African or Incan figures in the liberation narrative been reconfigured or re-imagined? Where does Haiti figure in the imaginary of Bolívarian emancipation? In addition, we welcome critical engagements with these themes as well as those not articulated here.
We are a musicologist and two art historians of modern and contemporary Latin American and European culture. We seek contributions of 5000-6000 words. We will consider previously published articles only if they have not previously appeared in English. Please email a 500-word proposal and c.v. to the editors: Maureen G. Shanahan (email@example.com); Pedro Aponte (firstname.lastname@example.org); and Ana María Reyes (email@example.com). Proposals are due by September 1, 2012.
Maureen G. Shanahan
Associate Professor, School of Art, Design & Art History
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA 28807
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