Research room of the National Archive of Chile, Santiago de Chile.
“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.”
Zora Neale Hurston
My work examines physical and symbolic attributes of masculinity in men in periodical publications from nineteenth-century Austral America (present-day Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay). It addresses s the construction of masculinities in magazines and newspapers through the analysis of visual iconic and written texts. Taking into account the discursive processes by which representations of masculinity were created in this time, my thesis departs from the display of criollo (Creole) men’s attributes, especially their hairstyle and facial hair, and the ways in which these features contributed to the creation of an ideally civilized male identity as well as its undesirable counterparts (non-criollo men in marginal spaces such as Indians and gauchos in rural areas, and low-class men in urban areas).
I am also interested in colonial and postcolonial (understood as the critical approach to colonialism) iconography and texts. I published an article on this topic, “La literatura reescribe la
Portrait of the Chilean general Bernardo O’Higgins Riquelme by the Peruvian painter José Gil de Castro y Morales. Oil on canvas, 1820.
historia: Colón se recrea en El arpa y la sombra de Alejo Carpentier.” In this paper, I explore the ways in which the author of a historical document and the represent the other Amerindian. Contemporary Latin American narrative can refer to the letters of Columbus and participates in the historical discourse of chronicles proclaiming their historical “truth”, in this case the Discovery of America. In this context, we can talk about the New Latin American Historical Novel as a literary genre that questions, problematizes, and deconstructs the colonial discourse in the history of Spanish America.
I plan to continue investigating topics such as the power of images in periodical publications in the nineteenth-century transatlantic world, and fashion, culture and transnationalism in masculinity and masculinism up to present day. I am aware of the necessity of an interdisciplinary work with literary theory, semiotic and linguistic, and culture and ideology studies in order to approach these documents.