As Argentina rose to political and economic prominence at the turn of the twentieth century, debates about the family, as an ideological structure and set of lived relationships, took center stage in efforts to shape the modern nation. In Argentine Intimacies, Joseph M. Pierce draws on queer studies, Latin American studies, and literary and cultural studies to consider the significance of one family in particular during this period of intense social change: Carlos, Julia, Delfina, and Alejandro Bunge. One of Argentina’s foremost intellectual and elite families, the Bunges have had a profound impact on Argentina’s national culture and on Latin American understandings of education, race, gender, and sexual norms. They also left behind a vast archive of fiction, essays, scientific treatises, economic programs, and pedagogical texts, as well as diaries, memoirs, and photography. Argentine Intimacies explores the breadth of their writing to reflect on the intersections of intimacy, desire, and nationalism and to expand our conception of queer kinship. Approaching kinship as an interface of relational dispositions, Pierce reveals the queerness at the heart of the modern family. Queerness emerges not as an alternative to traditional values so much as a defining feature of the state project of modernization.
“Argentine Intimacies provides a valuable intervention in the fields of cultural studies, Latin American studies, LGBT/queer studies, literary studies, and photography studies. Pierce conducted extensive archival research on the historically significant Bunge family in Argentina and offers lucid, theoretically informed, and original readings of their lives and cultural productions.” — Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes, University of Michigan
Joseph M. Pierce is Assistant Professor of Latin American Literature and Culture at Stony Brook University, State University of New York.
Very little documented evidence is available about Doña Marina. This is the first serious study tracing La Malinche in texts from the conquest period to the present day. It is also the first study to delineate the transformation of this historical figure into a literary sign with multiple manifestations.
Cypess includes such seldom analyzed texts as Ireneo Paz's Amor y suplicio and Doña Marina, as well as new readings of well-known texts like Octavio Paz's El laberinto de la soledad. Using a feminist perspective, she convincingly demonstrates how the literary depiction and presentation of La Malinche is tied to the political agenda of the moment. She also shows how the symbol of La Malinche has changed over time through the impact of sociopolitical events on the literary expression.