"Emotional coldness and the symbolic construction of globalised worlds in recent Latin American literature"
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Susanne Klengel (FU Berlin)
In this project I am analyzing phenomena of emotional coldness in literary constructions of globalized worlds in Latin American fiction of the last decade. The project focuses, on the one hand, on literature as a part of narratively figured cultures of feeling, which regulate emotional and empathic processes. On the other hand, it emphasizes the role of literature as a locus of cultural self-interpretation and of critical meta-reflection of those cultures. The project’s aim is to explore an implicit or explicit knowledge that literature is able to produce by simulating emotional experiences in symbolically constructed worlds. This knowledge concerns certain psycho-social modes of being and feeling that go along with globalisation processes, such as the ‘disembedding’ from traditional affective communities, the extension and implosion of spaces of experience and of potential risks and ethical responsibilities. The project’s focus lies on the literary staging of emotional closeness and distance, of territories of sensibility and boundaries of empathic exclusion, and of the prefiguration of emotional experiences through globalised communication media in Latin American text worlds-which, for their part, discard their former function of cultural difference in the international literary field, and dismiss ‘promising’ reference points like ‘elsewhere’, ‘in the beginning’ or ‘deep within’.