CONTACT: Diane Manuel, News Service (650) 725-1945;
Argentine critic Beatriz Sarlo to speak at Stanford Feb. 22
Beatriz Sarlo, one of Latin America's most important cultural critics, will give a talk titled "No Future? Literature and Cultural Politics" at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22, in Pigott Hall (Building 260), room 113.
Sarlo also will participate in a discussion from 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 23, in Pigott Hall (Building 260), room 252.
Both her talks are free and open to the public.
Sarlo is the second speaker in the winter quarter's Stanford Presidential Lectures and Symposia in the Humanities and Arts. Designed to bring distinguished scholars, artists and critics to campus, the series is funded by the President's Office.
According to the website prepared by Adán Griego, curator for Latin American, Mexican American and Iberian Collections at Stanford University Libraries, Sarlo is a specialist on the work of Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges and popular culture.
Born in 1942, Sarlo studied literature at the University of Buenos Aires, concentrating on Borges, Sarmiento and Cortázar.
In 1978, during the regime of the military junta, she and a group of progressive intellectuals founded the journal Punto de Vista, a courageous act at a time when alternative voices were considered subversive. A few years into the journal's publication, a lead article focused on the study of popular culture, suggesting that "it's not just about 'high culture,' but about popular culture."
In her 1985 study El imperio de los sentimientos: narraciones de circulación periódica en la Argentina, 1917-1927, Sarlo began to explore the feminine imagination in the modern city. Her attention in her 1988 work Una modernidad periférica: Buenos Aires 1920 y 1930 shifted to how Argentine intellectuals and writers experienced the urban transformation of Buenos Aires into a modern urban city.
Four year later, Sarlo published La imaginación técnica: suenos modernos de la cultura argentina, which brought an interdisciplinary expansion to her study of the cultural development of Buenos Aires in the 1920s and 30s. That book, which looked at technology, modernity, fiction and the mass media, was praised by critic Francine Masiello who said Sarlo was "interested in the ways in which technology enters the imagination of popular and middle class sectors and the ways in which devices . . . shape modern thinking."
In 1993 Sarlo turned her attention to one of Argentina's literary giants, publishing Borges: A Writer on the Edge. More recently, in 1998, she looked at the stories of a turn-of-the-century teacher, literary patron Victoria Ocampo, and the 1970s Argentine film avant-garde to reflect on little known episodes of her country's history in La máquina cultural: maestras, traductores y vanguardistas.
Sarlo gives frequent talks in English-speaking academic circles and has taught at Columbia University, the University of Maryland, the University of California-Berkeley and Cambridge University. She is a former Wilson Center and Guggenheim fellow.
For more information, go to the Presidential Lectures website at http://prelectur.stanford.edu .
By Diane Manuel