October 23, 2013
4:00 pmto5:00 pm

Cruel_ModernityKnight Library
Browsing Room
1501 Kincaid St.

The Latin American Studies Program presents:

A panel discussion of Jean Franco’s newest book, Cruel Modernity (Duke University Press, 2013).


  •  Pedro Garcia-Caro (Department of Romance Languages)
  • Tamara Lea Spira (Department of Women’s and Gender Studies)
  • Jean Franco (Columbia University)


JEAN FRANCO is Professor Emerita of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and a former president of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA). She has received numerous awards, including the 1996 PEN award for lifetime contribution to disseminating Latin American literature in English. She is the author of numerous books, including The Decline and Fall of the Lettered City: Latin America in the Cold War (Harvard UP, 2002) and Critical Passions (Duke UP, 1999).

In  Cruel Modernity, Jean Franco examines the conditions under which extreme cruelty became the instrument of armies, governments, rebels, and rogue groups in Latin America. Torturers and the perpetrators of atrocity were not only trained in cruelty but often provided their own rationales for engaging in it. Franco draws on human-rights documents, memoirs, testimonials, novels, and films, as well as photographs and art works, to explore not only cruel acts but the discriminatory thinking that made them possible, their long-term effects, the precariousness of memory, and the pathos of survival.

This event is organized by the Latin American Studies Program and cosponsored by the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies and the Oregon Humanities Center.

Read more at publisher’s link: http://www.dukeupress.edu/Cruel-Modernity/