Ali Kulez received his Ph.D. in Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture at the University of Southern California. He holds an M.A. in English from the University of Warwick.
His monograph-in-progress, Gastropoetics: Cultural Figurations of Eating in Modern Argentina, Brazil, and Cuba, examines consumption as a site of critical reflection on sovereignty, national identity, and the politics of aesthetics. His research engages with diverse media that include stories, paintings, manifestos, and opera develop a theory of eating as act, trope, and affect in Latin American literature and culture. The study proposes that scenes of eating gesture towards dissident forms of expression and belonging.
His second major research project, Beyond the Orient: Latin America’s Encounters with the Middle East (1866-2016), examines cases of travel, immigration, and cultural intake that problematize and push beyond Orientalism as an explanatory framework. Looking at travel literature, diasporic poetry, and novels from third-generation authors, the study argues that South-South encounters unsettle contemporary ideas about ethnicity, religion, and nationhood.
His work has appeared in CR: The New Centennial Review, Middle Eastern Literatures, and Archivos: Revista de Filosofía, and is forthcoming in Revista de Estudios Hispánicos.
Recent Courses in RLL
SPAN 23020 The Poetics of Life in Modern Latin America
How do Latin American authors imagine humans, animals, and other nonhuman lives? In what ways do considerations of race, gender, and species determine their cultural imaginary? This course will explore representations of life in Latin American fiction from the nineteenth century to the present. Paying special attention to subjects that are considered “other” (women, indigenous people, animals, cyborgs), we will reflect on the ways in which bodies are valued, ordered, and discarded in stories and novels. Through this examination of the hierarchies of life, we will gain insights into the major shifts in Latin American politics of the past two centuries. Moreover, we will see how literature, often considered to simply “mirror” contemporary values, may become a locus of resistance against racist, speciesist, and gender-based oppression and violence. Our readings will be complemented by excerpts from major cultural theorists and critics including Michel Foucault, Donna Haraway, and Gabriel Giorgi.
Taught in Spanish.