The Limits of Identity
168 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:15 Nov 2015
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The Limits of Identity

Politics and Poetics in Latin America

University of Texas Press

The Limits of Identity is a polemical critique of the repudiation of universalism and the theoretical commitment to identity and difference embedded in Latin American literary and cultural studies. Through original readings of foundational Latin American thinkers (such as José Martí and José Enrique Rodó) and contemporary theorists (such as John Beverley and Doris Sommer), Charles Hatfield reveals and challenges the anti-universalism that informs seemingly disparate theoretical projects.

The Limits of Identity offers a critical reexamination of widely held conceptions of culture, ideology, interpretation, and history. The repudiation of universalism, Hatfield argues, creates a set of problems that are both theoretical and political. Even though the recognition of identity and difference is normally thought to be a form of resistance, The Limits of Identity claims that, in fact, the opposite is true.

The Limits of Identity . . . masterfully draws from the foundational authors of modern Latin American thought to re-think Latino-Americanism and to suggest a radical departure from the ‘constraints’ of identity politics. Cincinnati Romance Review
[W]ith this project, Hatfield situates himself among some of the most exciting Latin Americanists in the U.S. Latin American Literary Review
[A]n ambitious and systematic effort to dismantle some of the predominant variations of identitarianism that feed the discursive apparatus of Latinamericanism. Berfrois
A crucial study. It will emerge a fundamental text within Latin American studies and within the humanities at large. The book is beautifully written. It is witty and possesses something very rare within Latin American studies: style. The research is impeccable and rigorous. Brett Levinson, Professor and Chair of Comparative Literature, Binghamton University/SUNY, and author of The Ends of Literature: The Latin American Boom in the Neoliberal Marketplace and Market and Thought: Meditations on the Political and Biopolitical
CHARLES HATFIELD is an associate professor of Latin American studies at the University of Texas at Dallas.
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Culture
  • Chapter 2: Beliefs
  • Chapter 3: Meaning
  • Chapter 4: Memory
  • Coda: A New Latin Americanism?
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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