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Power, Place and Representation

Contested Sites of Dependence and Independence in Latin America

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Edited By Bill Richardson and Lorraine Kelly

Questions about dependence and independence are of crucial importance in relation to Latin America, given the region’s history and its current situation. They are particularly relevant at this time, with the bicentenary of independence being celebrated throughout the region. This book examines central issues relating to these two notions in the Latin American context, offering twelve different studies of the themes in question, six of which cover sociology and politics and six of which examine topics in literary and cultural studies. The breadth of the subject matter considered in the volume reflects the wide range of issues that the ideas of dependence and independence raise in this political and geographical context, including, among others: identity, hegemony, wealth and poverty, discursive power, the role of civil society, language and gender. The contributors offer new insights into the fields examined, from discussions of the significance of cultural products such as literary works and films to a consideration of the validity of the concept of independence to ongoing efforts to alleviate poverty and assert national autonomy. As a uniquely interdisciplinary and multi-focused collection of essays, the book offers readers an excellent overview of these issues as they relate to Latin America today.

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Acknowledgements

Extract

This book is the product of a collaborative experience that emerged from the Association of Latin Americanists in Ireland conference on ‘Interpreting Independence’, held at NUI Galway in 2010. We would like to thank the members of the Association, as well as all those who participated in that event, for their dedication to and enthusiasm for Latin American studies in Ireland. In particular, we thank all the contributors for their generosity and amiability, which is what made this book possible. We would like to thank the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway for its financial contribution to that initial con- ference, and the NUI Galway Millennium Fund for assisting with the cost of publication. We also acknowledge the significant contribution – both financial and moral – made by the Spanish section of the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at NUI Galway, as part of its endeav- our to encourage research in Latin American Studies and to develop an interdisciplinary approach to this important academic field. Thanks also to our families, friends and colleagues who supported and encouraged us through the process of editing this collection.

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