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The Humanities Conference 2003

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Globalization,as Overlapping Utopias: The Latin American Perspective

Stelio R. Cro.


The Latin American perspective on globalization is quite different from the American or European one. In the latter globalization is treated as an inevitable event, a result of a preponderant economic view of the world, thus heavily controlled by the most developed nations who tend to view the rest of the world, either as a supplier of raw materials, or potential buyers of manufactured goods. It s a harsh and unimaginative view, driven by the greed of expanding new markets, or desire of refreshing new ones. Some economists may tray to explain that there is a lot of good news in globalization: like more jobs, more schools and hospitals, more opportunities, less crime, less unemployment, less drugs. There is truth in this view. But not many economists can explain how are they going to rid the world from ecological disasters like the one taking place in the rain forests of Brazil, Africa and Southeast Asia, or the oil spills. A reading and discussion of two or three leading Latin American writers like Jorge Luis Borges, Carlos Fuentes and Gabriel García Márquez might help us to understand the reasons behind this gap and a way to narrow it. For example, in Historia universal de la infamia (Unversal History of Infamy), Borges places many of his hybrid pieces, midway between essays and short stories, in different geographical regions, like Asia, Australia, England, the Caribbean, the Río de la Plata. His could be considered the first of a series of important statements on the present world that will come out in a span of about forty years (1930-70), involving also the “boom” of the Latin American novel and postmodern culture.

Presenters

Stelio R. Cro  (United States)
Professor
Department of Languages and Literatures
King College

Stelio Cro, a native of Rome, Italy, is a Full Professor of Languages and Linguistics and Acting Chair of the Department of Languages and literatures at King College. Author of several books and many articles on Spanish, Italian and Comparative literature, one of his areas of specialization is the utopian genre and its relationship with literature and history. He has been awarded several grants and a Teaching Award in 1994-95. He resides in Bristol with his wife Ann and two daughters, Melinda and Rebecca. His last book, a critical edition of Peter Martyr's De Orbe Novo, is due to appear in January and he is working on a survey of peninsular utopias.

Keywords
  • Latin American
  • Globalization
  • Western view
  • Market forces.
  • Cold war
  • Marxist Economic Theories
  • Cultural Substratum
Person as Subject
  • Borges, Jorge Luis Fuentes, Carlos Marquez, Gabriel Garcia



(30 min Conference Paper, English)