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Jorge Ruffinelli

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Pigott Hall 221
650 725 0112
ruffin@stanford.edu

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cultural politics
Literary history
cinema
latin america
modern

Jorge Ruffinelli

Professor of Iberian and Latin American Cultures

Professor Jorge Ruffinelli (Uruguay), a disciple of Angel Rama at the University of Uruguay, followed him as Director of the literary section of the seminal Uruguayan weekly Marcha in 1968. In 1973 he was Adjunct Professor of the Latin American literature program (directed by Noé Jitrik) at the University of Buenos Aires. In 1974 he emigrated to México, where he was appointed Director of the Centro de Investigaciones Lingüístico-Literarias at the Universidad Veracruzana, a position he held for for twelve years. At the Universidad Veracruzana he was also Professor in the school of Letters, and collaborated in all the major cultural journals and newspapers of the Latin American continent. In 1986 he was appointed Full Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Stanford. In Mexico he founded and directed the literary journal Texto crítico for twelve years. A member of various international editorial boards, in the United States he has directed the journal Nuevo texto crítico since 1987.

He has published twenty books of literary and cultural criticism and more than five hundred articles, critical notes and reviews in journals throughout the world. A recognized authority on Onetti, García Márquez, Juan Rulfo, and Latin American literary history, during the nineties his critical work has centered on Latin American cinema. In 1993 he filmed a documentary on Augusto Monterroso for which he interviewed major Mexican writers and critics. He is completing the first Encyclopedia of Latin American Cinema, for which he has written around two thousand articles on feature films from and about Latin America. His current work also includes a book of interpretation and survey of the most recent Spanish American prose published by writers born after 1968, a project that analyzes the work, marketing, and reception of over more than fifty authors (Ana Solari, Milagros Socorro, Karla Suarez, Mayra Santos, David Toscana, Rodrigo Fresan, Juan Forn, Martin Kohan, Jorge Vopli, among others). His teaching centers on the intersection of the interests above and cultural politics.

Professional Activities

At Stanford University, he has been Department Chair (1990-91, 1997), and Director of the Center of Latin American Studies (1994, 1997-1998), as well as a member of numerous university and interdepartmental committees. Throughout the years he has been a Jury Member in several international literary prizes and film Festivals: Marcha (Uruguay); Casa de las Américas (La Habana, Cuba); Premio Internacional Juan Rulfo (Guadalajara, Mexico); Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano (La Habana, Cuba); Festival Internacional de San Sebastian-Donostia (Pais Vasco, Espana), Festival Internacional de Trieste (Italia).

COURSES

ILAC 376 Aesthetics, Revolutionaries and Terrorists (ILAC 276)

Who is a terrorist and who is a revolutionary? With surge of Anarchism in the XXth Century, the "culture of fear" has been one of the axes of political activism. This course will explore the difference between the desire to correct injustice in society (Revolution) and the desire to destroy society (Terrorism) using literary texts and films. Readings will include novels and testimonies of the protagonists in various social struggles, as well as journalistic and academic papers about these social movements.

ILAC 276 Aesthetics, Revolutionaries and Terrorists (ILAC 376)

Who is a terrorist and who is a revolutionary? With surge of Anarchism in the XXth Century, the "culture of fear" has been one of the axes of political activism. This course will explore the difference between the desire to correct injustice in society (Revolution) and the desire to destroy society (Terrorism) using literary texts and films. Readings will include novels and testimonies of the protagonists in various social struggles, as well as journalistic and academic papers about these social movements.

ILAC 248 Distant Borders: Hispanic Migrations

During the last half a century, different people from Africa, Eastern Europe, have been moving from one area to another, looking for a better habitat. This has been a world wide phenomenon that has changed hundreds of thousands of lives, producing imperfect utopias. This course will focus on the assimilation of families and individuals to different cultures, as well as how the new country deals with this, many time rejecting the "other". Cinema and literature have been a great source to understand the drama of migration, and the course will use extensively these forms of artistic representation. Authors include Ángel Vásquez, Jorge Semprún, Mahi Binebine, Ariel Dorfman, Alberto Fuguet, Zoé Valdés, and Julia Álvarez.

ILAC 252 Guerillas

The modern strategic response to state dictatorships in Latin America has its origins in Ernesto Che Guevara's "Guerra de guerrillas". This course will focus on how those irregular military groups were formed in Chile, Mexico, Argentina, and Uruguay during the 20th Century. We will give particular attention to the "invisible" guerrillas" (the women) in revolutionary moments. That view will be enhanced by films and literature on this subject. Authors include Palau, Ignacio Taibo II, Tort, Gibler, Guevara, Gilio, Caula, and Cavallo.

ILAC 161 Modern Latin American Literature

From independence to the present. Topics include romantic allegories of thennation; modernism and postmodernism; avant-garde poetry; regionalism versus cosmopolitanism; indigenous and indigenist literature; magical realism and the literature of the boom; Afro-Hispanic literature; and testimonial narrative. Authors may include: Bolívar, Bello, Gómez de Avellaneda, Isaacs, Sarmiento, Machado de Assis, Darío, Martí­, Agustini, Vallejo, Huidobro, Borges, Cortázar, Neruda, Guillon, Rulfo, Ramos, Garcí­a Marquez, Lispector, and Bolaño. Taught in Spanish.

ILAC 161 Modern Latin American Literature

From independence to the present. Topics include romantic allegories of thennation; modernism and postmodernism; avant-garde poetry; regionalism versus cosmopolitanism; indigenous and indigenist literature; magical realism and the literature of the boom; Afro-Hispanic literature; and testimonial narrative. Authors may include: Bolívar, Bello, Gómez de Avellaneda, Isaacs, Sarmiento, Machado de Assis, Darío, Martí­, Agustini, Vallejo, Huidobro, Borges, Cortázar, Neruda, Guillon, Rulfo, Ramos, Garcí­a Marquez, Lispector, and Bolaño. Taught in Spanish.

ILAC 278A Senior Seminar: Cuba from Beginning to End

The Cuban Revolution of '59 to today, through literature and film. Themes: Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Elián González, the exiles, love and war in the times of socialism. The course will focus on literature "classics" like "Condenados de Condado" by Norberto Fuentes, and contemporary works like "Trilogía sucia de La Habana" by Pedro Juan Gutiérrez and "Cien botella en una pared" by Ena Lucía Portela. Taught in Spanish.

ILAC 103N The Millenium Novel in Latin America

Between 2000 and 2012, a young Spanish American novel emerges, taking at times a minimalist point of view to narrate individual stories with a subjective tone, or continuing a tradition of the historical panorama to present national tragedies that occurred in the last two or three decades. Focus is on this new type of novel from different countries, with such titles as "El cuerpo en que nací" by Guadalupe Entel; "Las teorías salvajes" by Pola Oloixarac; "El ruido de las cosas al caer" by Juan Gabriel Vazquez; and "Bonsai" by Alejandro Zambra, among others. Taught in Spanish.

PUBLICATIONS