Jean Franco on Cruel Modernity, April 2

Acclaimed Latin American literary and cultural critic Jean Franco will join Fordham professors Chris GoGwilt, Cynthia Vich, and Arnaldo Cruz-Malavé in a talk and discussion on her latest book, Cruel Modernity. The event will take place on Wednesday, April 2, from 5:00-7:00 pm at the Fordham Law School in Room 430BC (140 West 62nd Street). 

In Cruel Modernity, Franco examines the way cruelty in its various forms—genocide, torture, disappearance, and rape—has become during the modern period the instrument of armies, governments, rebels, and rogue groups throughout the Americas.  Drawing on a wealth of testimonial archives, state, police, and human rights commission reports, literary accounts, art and film, Prof. Franco shows how these cruel practices, which have fostered an extreme form of masculinity whose unspeakable brutality has been exercised mainly against indigenous populations and women, have become institutionalized and normalized in the Americas for the purposes of creating what its perpetrators perceive as modern societies.

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 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).

Prof. GoGwilt is author of The Passage of Literature: Genealogies of Modernism in Conrad, Rhys, and Pramoedya; Prof. Vich has written extensively on Peruvian indigenous movements and on violence in literature and film, and Prof. Cruz-Malavé writes on gender and sexuality in Caribbean and Latino literatures. 

Sponsored by the departments of Modern Languages and Literatures and English, the programs in Latin American and Latino Studies, Comparative Literature, Peace and Justice Studies, American Studies, and Women’s Studies, and the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and the Fordham University School of Law. 

Reception and Book Signing to Follow.