The collection Excessive Reflections focuses on a recurrent motif that is fundamental in the Gothic—the double. Dating back to ancient times and civilizations, the double acquires modern relevance when Otto Rank examines it in his essay published in 1914, and is later quoted by Sigmund Freud in “The Uncanny” (1919). This volume is interested in exploring how this ancient notion acquires tremendous force in a region, Latin America, which is itself defined by duplicity (indigenous/European, autochthonous religions/Catholic). Despite this duplicity and at the same time because of it, this region has also generated “mestizaje”, or forms resulting from racial mixing and hybridity. Special attention will be paid to the eruption of the indigenous through the figure of the nahual (also nawal or nagual), the guardian spirit or alter-ego embodied in animal form, as well as to other doubles and numerous transformations present in Latin American Gothic constructions.
In recent years, much attention has been paid to national manifestations of the Gothic, as well as to what Glennis Byron termed “Globalgothic,” “the emergence of cultural and transnational gothics” (Globalgothic 1). Thus, several collections have aimed to examine manifestations of this mode in the Anglophone realm (Scottish, Canadian, American, Australian, etc.), while others have chosen to examine other regions of the world that had been previously overlooked by the Gothic Studies lens, such as Asian Gothic and Latin American Gothic.
This collection, then, aims to contribute to the current discussion about the Gothic in Latin America by looking at the doubles and hybrid forms that result from the violent yet culturally fertile process of colonization that took place in the area. This will be done by acknowledging the literary and artistic richness that has been shaped and fueled by a legacy of conquest, as well as the violent encounters and the oppression of indigenous people resulting from the consequent establishment of European hegemony during colonization, but in equal measure by powerful forms of resistance and cultural hybrids that have emerged from this intense phenomenon.
Excessive Reflections aims to answer questions such as:
- How central is the presence of doubles, split personalities and hybrid bodies in the discussion around Latin American Gothic?
- Is there a connection between the tradition of Magic Realism, a genre native to this region and closely associated to ghostly presences, and the Gothic?
- Is there a link between the historical and geographical identity of the region and the presence of doubles in the literature, film and art produced in it?
- What is the connection between the presence of hybrid bodies in the present and the pre-Columbian heritage in the area?
Submission process and deadlines (also questions):
Those interested are asked to send a 300 word abstract, plus a 50 word bio note to:
ABSTRACT SUBMISSION DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 30, 2017
COMPLETE ESSAY SUBMISSION DEADLINE: APRIL 30, 2018