Latin American Hyperfetishism and the Materialist Turn

Héctor Hoyos

Title Conditional: Latin American Hyperfetishism and the Materialist Turn
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Time: 4:00 pm | CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

“Untitled (Inge with Maid),” 1999. Photo by and © Daniela Rosell.
“Untitled (Inge with Maid),” 1999. Photo by and © Daniela Rosell.

In this talk, Hoyos interrogates Marx’s notion of commodity fetishism from the vantage point of new materialisms. Complicating the notion that counternarrative may reveal the social relations behind the fascination toward commodities, Hoyos considers literary and artistic case studies from Colombia and Mexico (Fernando Vallejo, Margo Glantz, and Daniela Rosell) to characterize a mode of representation he calls “hyperfetishist.” Hyperfetishism exacerbates social tension, seeking to disturb our relationship with the object, rather than to demystify it. From the softness of shoes to the glow of faux gold, from unfashionable toilets to crumbling houses, Hoyos shows how contemporary Latin American culture theorizes globalization’s emerging material paradigms. 

Héctor Hoyos is Associate Professor of Latin American literature at Stanford University. His book, Beyond Bolaño: The Global Latin American Novel (Columbia UP, 2015), examines post-1989 Latin American novels of globalization and their relevance for world literature.