Culture and Agency in Latin America Series, Harvard University Press

Series Editor, José Luis Falconi

The Culture and Agency in Latin America Series will expand the scholarship on innovative contemporary cultural production in this region. Through an investigation of the work of leading artists such as Dario Escobar, in addition to other cultural agents such as the former mayor of Bogotá, Antanas Mockus, the series examines how humor, creativity, and critical tactics have been used to negotiate social, political, and economic systems. This series will include insightful contributions from an international selection of leading scholars, critics and curators. As a whole, the series will support the notion of culture as an important expression of social agency and creativity as a driving force for social change.

Books from this series

Falconi, José Luis, ed. A Single Plurality: The Works of Darío Escobar. Vol. 1. Cambridge, Mass: The Cultural Agents Initiative at Harvard University, 2014. Print.

One of the most significant Central American artists to be in the contemporary international scene in recent years, Guatemalan sculptor Dario Escobar has captivated audiences with his provocative work, as intense in its format and conceptual inquiry as it is irreverent in its novelty and humor.

Escobar first gained recognition for his clever appropriation of everyday objects gilded in the manner of the Guatemalan baroque. He has since distinguished himself as an artist not only through this shrewd conflation of high- and low-brow culture, but, most critically, through his relentless artistic investigation of what it means, as a Guatemalan, to be “contemporary.” Whether through a strategic accumulation of seemingly ordinary objects, or their delicate re-contextualization in the gallery space, Escobar continually challenges us to reconsider our relation to the myriad of mass-produced objects that encroach on our daily experience and to reflect on our own place in the social, political, and economic systems that sustain this existence.

In A Singular Plurality, essays by important international scholars, critics, and curators provide a critical account of how Escobar’s irresistibly whimsical incisiveness effectively dismantled the hardened opposition between the cosmopolitan and the local, thus setting the stage for our present global cartography.

Cuellar, Sebastian, and Carlo Tognato, eds. Cultural Agents Reloaded: The Legacy of Antanas Mockus. Cambridge, Mass: The Cultural Agents Initiative at Harvard University, Forthcoming. Print.

Sommer, Doris. Cultural Agency in the Americas. Durham: Duke University Press, 2006. Print.
---. The Work of Art in the World : Civic Agency and Public Humanities. Durham: Duke University Press, 2014. Print.

Alvarez Curbelo, Silvia. "Artes Públicos En Puerto Rico." TRANS> Web.
Jacoby, Roberto. "La Estrategia De La Alegría." Zona Erógena 2000. Print.
Pérez Mejía, Ángela. "The Sling of Goliath." TRANS> Web.
Sommer, Doris. "Art to the Rescue." Print.
---. "Humanists as Cultural Agents." Print.
---. "Art and Accountability." Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas 38, No.2 71 (2005): 261-76. Print.
---. "Dancehall Democracy: Social Space as Social Agency." ReVista: Harvard Review of Latin America  (2007): 17-19. Print.
Taylor, Diana. "Performing the Claim." TRANS> Web.