PLAS Graduate Works-in-Progress: Ingrid Brioso Rieumont & Benjamin Murphy

Thu, Dec 13, 2018, 12:00 pm

Ingrid Brioso Rieumont

Photograph: Marc Ferrez, 1890

"The Time of the Cadaver: Machado de Assis's The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas”

Ingrid Brioso Rieumont, Spanish and Portuguese

What might a posthumous time be? The adjective “posthumous” as proposed in The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas (1881), a novel written by Brazilian writer Machado de Assis, denotates a form of existence that does not go “beyond” the grave, but “after” it. This paradox is well explained by Brás Cubas himself, an unreliable narrator who declares he is not an author who is dead, but a dead author who writes, a “defunto autor.” The Posthumous Memoirs are narrated from this “posthumous” temporality, a duration between a biography (or life before death) and an epitaph (death without any life). In this presentation I will explore the formal and historic implications of thinking about this temporality/category as proposed by Machado de Assis’s novel, in the context of XIX-century Brazil and onward. 

Ingrid Brioso Rieumont is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese studying nineteenth to twenty first-century Latin America, particularly Cuban and Brazilian literatures and cultures, slavery and photography, placing time at the center of her reflection.

Her dissertation, The Time of the After, thinks through the tension between the concepts of the “endings” of political processes and of life, and the possibility for something different to emerge, an afterwards. Drawing from enslaved portraiture and literary texts from nineteenth to twenty-first century Cuba and Brazil, she studies scenarios that come to speak of the existence after the end, and force the end to face something unknown or unpredicted. She is recipient of a 2018 Donald and Mary Hyde Summer Fellowship from Princeton and a 2018-2019 Goizueta Graduate Fellowship from the Cuban Heritage Collection. A sample of her work is forthcoming in Cuban Studies.

Grad Workshop
"Technology, Sociology, and the Problem of Observation: Video at the Centro de Arte y Comunicación in Buenos Aires"
Benjamin Murphy, Art and Archaeology
This talk analyzes the emergence of video art in Argentina through an investigation of the Centro de Arte y Comunicación (CAYC), a Buenos-Aires based experimental art space that served as an early promoter of this new artistic practice during the 1970s. In accordance with the CAYC’s own inter-disciplinary mission, the artists who experimented with video technology in the Center’s spaces and under its institutional auspices sought to intervene within debates that had begun to animate various branches of the social sciences regarding the phenomena of mass media and communication. Sociology, a discipline which by the end of the previous decade had become a vanguard field for such debates in Argentina, became for the CAYC and its associated artists a forum for investigating and critiquing the ways in which the country’s turbulent political process was both observed and represented through media. By focusing on the work of an individual artist, Lea Lublin, as it was shown at several of the CAYC’s most emblematic video art exhibitions, I attempt to demonstrate how early video art constitutes an important component of the intellectual history of sociology in Argentina at the moment when the discipline became a principal platform for debates about populism and dependency in the 1970s.
Benjamin Murphy is a fifth-year PhD student in the Department of Art and Archaeology who studies modern and contemporary art from Latin America. He is currently at work on his dissertation, which addresses the emergence of video art in Latin America during the 1970s. Through a series of interconnected case studies that examine early manifestations of this artistic practice in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and among Latin American artists in the United States, the dissertation proposes that Latin American video art offers a unique intervention within methodological debates about observation that were occurring during the same time period in diverse fields across the social sciences such as anthropology, sociology, and communication studies. Benjamin has spent the fall 2018 term researching in Argentina with the support of a Donald and Mary Hyde Fellowship from Princeton, and in spring of next year he will begin a Fulbright grant in Brazil.
Lunch provided. Free and open to the public.
216 Burr Hall