Talk with Assistant Professor Jaime Hanneken
Thursday, December 1st
Room 614 Social Sciences Bldg (West Bank)
This talk examines the role of baroque poetics in the suspension of historical causality and the affirmation of an autochthonous American subject in José Lezama Lima's La expresión americana, and seeks to carry his conclusions into the realm of material history in order to demonstrate how they may lead us to an understanding of historical consciousness driven by non-identity.
Lezama's defense of Latin American autochthony rests on the repurposing of two tropes of autochthony: landscape or "gnostic space," understood as a sphere of contact between man and god in the appropriation of nature's monstrous expanse; and magic or myth, the sympathetic connections among man, god, and nature that Lezama characterizes as animistic. I contend that Lezama's repurposing of these tropes offers an American historical consciousness based, much as Walter Benjamin's theses on history, in constellation--that is, in the fragments that drive the image's waxing and waning form as a measure of history.