Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
This dissertation explores diverse shapes of the future as represented in literary production at the turn of the century—from the late 1980s to the present day—through examining the science fiction (sf) of Argentina, Chile, and Mexico. I focus primarily on materiality as an actor and on the agency of things in dialogue with human society through an investigation of the material and cultural productions of sf texts by further scrutinizing the impact of new networking technology. While analyzing the absence and presence of material culture and technological ecology in the selected texts, I work to identify the unique shades and textures of Latin American sf at the turn of the century. Ruins, wastes, rusty machines, decaying cans, broken robots, suffering humans, and wounded cities populate the dystopian and (post)apocalyptic societies represented in the fictional works that form the center of this analysis. Those things, whether they be man-made or nature-made that survive amidst the aftermath of humanity’s extinction, precisely (re)present the present society’s crises and anxieties as it faces rapidly changing social and physical environments. I seek to come to terms with posthumanism by developing conversations founded in the “materialist turn” or “nonhuman turn” that urges a reorientation towards a material reality. These philosophical approaches allow me to grasp new perspectives to examine the speculative reality of Latin America, specifically Argentina, Chile, and Mexico. This dissertation is divided into three chapters based on the selected authors’ nationalities and works. The first part of each chapter looks at dystopian and apocalyptic tropes found throughout the various sf works, while the second part centers on sf texts that depict new technologies alongside their concomitant social, political, and material consequences. Although I split the chapters by theme, this structure also coincides with the chronological order of the ontological and epistemological transformations that occurred at the turn of the century.
Chair and Committee
J. Andrew Brown
David Dalton, Javier García-Liendo, Ignacio Sánchez Prado, Elzbieta Sklodowski,
Park, Kyeongeun, "Affective Materiality: Latin American Science Fiction at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century" (2019). Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1937.