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Reviewed by: Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University
Transmodernity: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World, is an interdisciplinary journal of Luso-Hispanic and U.S. Latino literary and cultural studies promoting “the study of marginalized areas of Luso-Hispanic cultural production of any period.” Topics that interest the editors include “Orientalism in the Luso-Hispanic world; post-colonial cultural production by and/or about minorities in the Lusophone and Hispanophone world, including people of Asian, Arab, Jewish, black, indigenous and Romani (gypsy) descent; Arab cultural production in any of the languages in the Iberian Peninsula; Spanish-language cultural production in Israel, Equatorial Guinea, the Philippines, the United States, and Canada; Lusophone cultural production in Portugal’s former colonies; and any Hispanophone and Lusophone cultural production from Latin American and the Iberian Peninsula that addresses Transmodernity, understood as a South-to-South intercultural dialogue from the perspective of the so-called Third World and beyond the dependence on the metropolis.” Material that crosses disciplinary boundaries and from different disciplines (such as literary and film studies, urban and cultural studies, popular and mass culture, subcultures, performing and visual arts, and Luso-Hispanic thought) is also appropriate for submission to this journal.
Work in Transmodernity reports on “processes of racialization, hybridization, transculturation, liminality, creolization, syncretism, and mestizaje,” as well as exile, migration, transnationalism, citizenship, social and cultural memory, glocalization, assimilation, strategic self-orientalization and the orientalization of both Eastern and non-Eastern cultures and peoples in the Luso-Hispanic world. The journal’s focus is on new intercultural and peripheral paradigms that “claim their own place” beyond a traditional Western modernity that previously excluded them.
Now to try to tell you what is to be found in the journal. The Spring 2014 issue contains the articles, “Clase política, compadrazgo y hampa cultural en la formación del canon literario dominicano (1996-2012),” “Bare Life, Indigenous Viscerality and Cholo Barbarity in Jesús Lara’s Yanakuna,” “Disembodied and Deportable Labor at the U.S. Mexico-Border: Representations of the Mexican Body in Film,” “Chasing Your (Josie) Bliss: The Troubling Critical Afterlife of Pablo Neruda’s Burmese Lover,” “Beyond the Hyphen: Representation of Multicultural Japanese Identity in Maximiliano Matayoshi’s Gaijin and Anna Kazumi Stahl’s Flores de un solo día,” and “Hacia una redefinición del desarraigo: diálogos narrativos entre Mozambique y Venezuela.” There are also four lengthy book reviews, of: New World Literacy: Writing and Culture Across the Atlantic, 1500-1700, Between Empires: Martí, Rizal, and the Intercolonial Alliance, Caviar with Rum Cuba-USSR and the Post-Soviet Experience, and Asia en la España del siglo XIX. Literatos, viajeros, intelectuales y diplomáticos ante Oriente. As you can see, the journal is multi-lingual.
The previous issue, Fall 2013, contains nine articles in English and Spanish, ranging from “The maid as political spy in Argentine literature and historiography: the Rosas-Perón nexus (1846-1964)” to “Representation and its Discontents: Maghrebian Voices and Iberian Diversity.” There is also an interview (En la intemperie del consenso. Entrevista a Alfons Cervera), and seven lengthy, scholarly book reviews. The text throughout is in a tiny font, and is extremely difficult to read (and I could not find any way to enlarge it besides <CTL><+>, which made it blurry and still difficult to read. Once again it is hard to navigate through the journal and one finds oneself linked into places not of one’s own choosing pretty often (when in doubt I clicked on the journal masthead, which took me back to square one).
Content is very scholarly and also very good, and the journal’s editorial board is outstanding. My advice is not to let the relatively impenetrable language in the journal’s front matter put you off this resource: once you actually access the ideas and writing you’ll be rewarded with good arguments and excellent theses. An important resource for students and other researchers in Luso-Hispanic and U.S. Latino literary and cultural studies.