Narrating from the margins: representations of shantytowns in Brazilian and Colombian nonfiction Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Weisslitz, Toby
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English and Comparative Literature
  • During the past sixty years in Colombia and Brazil, mass rural displacement to urban shantytowns has increasingly occurred as a result of poverty, public policy, and violence. The continual, unregulated growth of these shantytowns has triggered an increase in social problems for residents: poverty, gangs, drugs, violence, and social exclusion are not uncommon. Many books and films depict such shantytown problems, and there exist many significant studies of these works. These studies, however, have tended to focus exclusively on works of fiction. While these approaches make valuable contributions to the discipline of Latin American Studies, they overlook an innovative cluster of recent Brazilian and Colombian nonfictional books and films which are challenging traditional notions of authorship, genre, production, marketing, and conscience-raising. As an original contribution to scholarship, this dissertation is an examination and analysis of these recent (2003-present), nonfictional shantytown-themed books and films from Colombia and Brazil. These written and cinematic works speak to a wide range of urban social problems while simultaneously testifying to the economic, social, and political factors experienced by displaced, poor, rural Brazilians and Colombians during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Given that most shantytown residents are culturally, economically, and politically excluded from the means of self-representation, this category positions the shantytown resident and his/her narration as central figures in the struggle for recognition of the social problems in peripheral Latin American neighborhoods.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Curriculum of Comparative Literature."
  • González Espitia, Juan Carlos
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  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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