Life and its Forms. Drifts of the Biopolitical Thought in Recent Hispanic Literature and Criticism

Coord. by Azucena González Blanco and Julieta Yelin

Since the end of the last century, in the field of specialized criticism, a process of revision has been taking place. Its purpose is to analyse the already classical dialectic that puts a strain on literature regarding the search of autonomy and the experimentation with various types of contact and merging with life. However, the contribution of this rereading is the revision of the concept of experience, which was left aside in the literary theory born from the formalisms of the previous century. It is because of this that we are now able to re-evaluate a series of categories of analysis with which not long ago genres were classified, frontiers between fiction and non-fiction were drawn and the limits separating literature from other artistic disciplines were set.

This transformation of the scene of theory and literary criticism can be productively linked to the developments of biopolitical thought, whose origins go back to the lectures of Michel Foucault at the Collège de France in 1978-79 and that led to The Birth of Biopolitics. Certainly, since that time, literature, literary studies and philosophy –each with their own resources and specific tools– have focused on the re-elaboration of regular imaginaries and conceptual problems: the subjectivation processes and the desubjectivation; the status of the living, the animal and the human animality; the property/non-property of the body, and sickness, among others, generating new ways of understanding the relationship among fiction, thought and life.

The purpose of this monograph is to deal with the particular dialogue held between recent Hispanic literary thought –in both their creative and critical expressions– and the most relevant guidelines and contributions of biopolitical theory. It is fundamentally centred in addressing the mechanisms generated by the fiction-life dialectic and its effects on what Roberto Esposito defined as affirmative biopolitics. In other words, defined not as power over life, but as power of life: a plural, inclusive, non-disciplinary and regenerative paradigm. Consequently, the following main themes are suggested (though not exclusively):

  • Literature and poverty. The neoliberal biopolitics in Spanish and Hispanic literature of the last decades.
  • Dialogues between biopolitical theory and literary theory.
  • Forms of life and death in nowadays Spanish and Hispanic novel.
  • Transfigurations of the notion of life in recent Spanish and Hispanic literary criticism.

All those scholars wishing to contribute an article for this special issue may email it to Deadline for submissions: Jyly, 31st 2018. Papers must adhere to the guidelines available at our website.