Experimentos De Politización. La Vanguardia Y El Devenir Del Populismo En Argentina, Uruguay Y Brasil

Thumbnail Image
Degree type
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Graduate group
Comparative Literature and Literary Theory
Felisberto Hernández
Patrícia Galvão
Roberto Arlt
Comparative Literature
Latin American Languages and Societies
Latin American Literature
Latin American Studies
Grant number
Copyright date
Related resources
Pape, María

Experiments of Politicization. The Avant-Garde and the Rise of Populism in Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil explores the relationship between the Latin American avant-gardes and the rise of Latin American populism. In the beginning of the 20th century, elitist democracies gave way to mass democracies, creating new political subjectivities. I examine how these new subjectivities led to the rise of the first populisms in Argentina and Brazil as well as the absence of populism in Uruguay. First, I analyze how society was presented in official political discourse and, then, how avant-garde literature and theater intervened in this. I argue that official political discourse only gives us a partial understanding of the rise of populism and that the avant-gardes offer important counternarratives and new comprehensions. Moreover, I contend that the populist dynamics arose gradually in the cultural sphere and this long before full-blown populist governments, meaning they were the conditions of possibility for the governments rather than the result of them. I base this analysis primarily on studies of Roberto Arlt’s theater, Felisberto Hernández’s early short stories, and Patrícia Galvão’s first novel, read in dialogue with the period’s literature, theater, cinema, and visual art. By studying these three artists together, the dissertation intervenes in the study of the Latin American historical avant-gardes that, according to a traditionally reading, were characterized by an interest in their own global positioning, playing out as a tension between nationalist and cosmopolitan impulses. I argue that Arlt, Hernández, and Galvão, together with similar artists, constitute a margin of the experimental avant-garde that left the question of national/cosmopolitan identity aside. Instead, they intervened in the official political discourse that championed national unity by examining and exposing Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil’s sociopolitical conflicts.

Román de la Campa
Date of degree
Date Range for Data Collection (Start Date)
Date Range for Data Collection (End Date)
Digital Object Identifier
Series name and number
Volume number
Issue number
Publisher DOI
Journal Issue
Recommended citation