Columbia SPPO

Mónica de la Torre

Graduate Student

B.A. in Political Science, ITAM, Mexico City, MFA in Creative Writing, Columbia University. Main interests: Experimental and cross-genre Latin American poetry, fiction, and film; performance and conceptual art practices, multilingual writing, translation, and cultural studies.

Dissertation title: “Whatever You Say: The Economy of Poetic Ventriloquism in Latin American Poetry of the 70s and 80s.” Thesis summary: The generalized sociopolitical turbulence that most Latin American countries underwent from the 60s to the 80s forced the terms of artistic practice to concern themselves with more than merely aesthetic issues. The dissertation seeks to study a number of countercultural text-based practices that emerged as a response to this critical historical moment and which resorted to polyphony and alternative linguistic economies as a means to unsettle hegemonic official discourses, mainly in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru and Mexico.

Publications: De la Torre has published poetry and conceptual art books in Spanish and English, including the artist book Appendices, Illustrations and Notes (Smart Art Press) and the poetry books Acúfenos (Taller Ditoria) and Talk Shows (Switchback Books). She is co-editor of the multilingual anthology Reversible Monuments: Contemporary Mexican Poetry (Copper Canyon P) and translator and editor of the bilingual volume Poems by Gerardo Deniz (Taller Ditoria/ Lost Roads).

Conferences: “Taking Mexican Photography to Task: The Creencias of Maruch Sántiz Gómez,” in the panel “Agentes culturales en América Latina; "Nuevos enfoques y perspectivas para un área de estudios en vías de expansión,” Latin American Studies Association, March 2006; “The Warnings of Maruch Sántiz Gómez,” Graduate Student Conference on "Cultural Agents," Harvard University, February 2005; "Ndabua Isien/Nest of Images: Contemporary Indigenous Poetry of Mexico” (panel moderator) in conjunction with the exhibition The Aztec Empire, Guggenheim Museum, December 2004; “Out of the Labyrinth: Mexican Literature Today,” Americas Society, November 2004.
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