Conference Absrtract

Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures

Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures


Theory (in) Place 

April 11-12, 2014 at Columbia University
Casa Hispanica
612 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10027

Keynote Address
 Bruno Bosteels (Cornell University)

Theory and the Early Modern Archive Roundtable
Gayatri Spivak (Columbia University) 
Alessandra Russo (Columbia University)

Queer Public Lives in Latin America Roundtable
Gabriel Giorgi (New York University)

Opening Remarks
Jesus Rodriguez-Velasco (Columbia University)

Theory (in) Place seeks to interrogate the problems, challenges and potentials that Iberian, Hispanic and Lusophone cultures, places and spaces pose to critical theory, specifically tensions between the particular and universal. How can we think of theoretical frames such as queer and postcolonial from within our areas of study? What problems do these cultures, places and spaces pose to Marxist, and post-Marxist theories? What are the frictions created between decolonial proposals and European /US/Northern Hemisphere geopolitics? Is it possible to articulate universal theories from within non-hegemonic geopolitical and biopolitical borders and frames? These questions reveal both problems and potentials of theoretical discourses as we investigate disciplinary frames imposed upon theory; theoretical frames imposed upon geopolitical and biopolitical objects and areas of study; and their asymmetric interactions. From these points of inquiry Theory (in) Place aims to elaborate on reconsiderations and new ways of theorizing and thinking from particular objects and spaces.

Graduate Panels

  • Cultural Practices in Francoist Spain, ‘50s-‘70s
  • On the Confines of Critical Discourse
  • Approaching Theory through the Politics of Space
  • Re-writing the cultural space in Latin America:  Interruptions of other/emerging cultural productions

See Program for detailed schedule and panel abstracts

António Variações

Thank you Jay Rechsteiner, and Sardine and Tobleroni, for lending us António Variações (2008) a beautiful image of Portugal's pop music and queer icon António Variações, using mixed media.  Based on an iconic image of the hair stylist/fashion icon/artist, the image situates him between the Cathedral of Braga in northern Portugal and New York's Empire State Building, which he balances on his hands like ornaments or jewelry.

Rechsteiner is a multi-disciplinary & conceptual Swiss artist based in London. Anarchic and political themes, tackled with a sense of the ridiculous are central to Rechsteiner's practice. He has exhibited internationally (Japan, USA, UK, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, France) in galleries and museums such as the Fukuoka Art Museum, Whitechapel Gallery, Tate Liverpool, the London Art Fair & the Venice Biennale. In 2005 Rechsteiner joined forces with Portuguese Punk musician Victor 'Torpedo' Silveira and together they started working under the pseudonym Sardine & Tobleroni. After an intensive and creative five-year period, the collaboration ended and Rechsteiner began a new body of work.

Follow the links below to learn more about Jay Rechsteiner and Sardine and Tobleroni