Libre Acceso

Latin American Literature and Film through Disability Studies

Edited by Susan Antebi & Beth E. Jörgensen

Subjects: Latin American Studies, Disabilities, Film Studies, Literary Criticism, Cultural Studies
Series: SUNY series in Latin American and Iberian Thought and Culture
Paperback : 9781438459684, 290 pages, January 2017
Hardcover : 9781438459677, 290 pages, February 2016

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction: A Latin American Context for Disability Studies
Susan Antebi and Beth E. Jörgensen
Part I. Disability Life Writing and Constructions of the Self
1. Blind Spot: (Notes on Reading Blindness)
Lina Meruane
2. “La cara que me mira”: Demythologizing Blindness in Borges’s Disability Life Writing
Kevin Goldstein
3. Negotiating the Geographies of Exclusion and Access: Life Writing by Gabriela Brimmer and Ekiwah Adler-Belendez
Beth E. Jörgensen
Part II. Global Bodies and the Coloniality of Disability
4. Otras competencias: Ethnobotany, the Badianus codex, and Metaphors of Mexican Memory Loss and Disability in Las buenas hierbas (2010)
Ryan Prout
5. Cripping the Camera: Disability and Filmic Interval in Carlos Reygadas’s Japón
Susan Antebi

6. Bodily Integrity, Abjection, and the Politics of Gender and Place in Roberto Bolano’s 2666
Victoria Dickman-Burnett
7. Violence, Injury, and Disability in Recent Latin American Film
Victoria L. Garrett
Part III. Embodied Frameworks: Disability, Race, Marginality
8. So Candelario’s Inheritance: Leprosy as a Marker of Racial Identity in Joao Guimaraes Rosa’s Grande Sertão: Veredas (1956)
Valéria M. Souza
9. “A solidao da escuridao”: On Visual Impairment and the Visibility of Race
Melissa E. Schindler
10. Mythicizing Disability: The Life and Opinions of (what is left of) Estamira
Nicola Gavioli
11. “En ninguna parte”: Narrative Performances of Mental Illness in El portero by Reinaldo Arenas and Corazón de skitaleitz by Antonio Jose Ponte
Laura Kanost
Part IV. Imagining Other Worlds
12. The Disability Twist in Stranger Novels by Mario Bellatin and Carmen Boullosa
Emily Hind
13. The Blur of Imagination: Asperger’s Syndrome and One Hundred Years of Solitude
Juan Manuel Espinosa
Epilogue #YoSoy
Robert McRuer

Analyzes the diverse roles and pervasive presence of disability in Latin American literature and film.


Libre Acceso stages an innovative encounter between disciplines that have remained quite separate: Latin American literary, film, and cultural studies and disability studies. It offers a much-needed framework to engage the representation, construction, embodiment, and contestation of human differences, and provides tools for the urgent resignification of a robust and diverse Latin American literary and filmic tradition. The contributors discuss such topics as impairment, trauma, illness and the body, performance, queer theory, subaltern studies, and human rights, while analyzing literature and film from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru. They explore these issues through the work of canonical figures Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel García Márquez, João Guimarães Rosa, and others, as well as less well-known figures, including Mario Bellatin and Miriam Alves.

Susan Antebi is Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of Toronto and the author of Carnal Inscriptions: Spanish American Narratives of Corporeal Difference and Disability. Beth E. Jörgensen is Professor of Spanish at the University of Rochester. She is the author of Documents in Crisis: Nonfiction Literatures in Twentieth-Century Mexico and the coeditor (with Ignacio Corona) of The Contemporary Mexican Chronicle: Theoretical Perspectives on the Liminal Genre, both also published by SUNY Press.


"A volume quite aware of its unique positioning, Libre Acceso is a major contribution to the interdisciplinary field of Latin American disability studies. " — Hispania