Volume 88, Number 6 / 2011SOCLAS’s Head of Latin-American Studies, Dr Valdi Astvaldsson, has edited a new issue of the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies that explores the relations that Latin American literature has established with pre-Hispanic mythology and its various post-Conquest transmissions.

The collection, ‘Permeable Borders: Pre-Hispanic Myth in Latin American Literature,’ brings together a range of scholarly articles originally presented at the II International Conference: Pre-Hispanic Myth in Latin American Literature (II Congreso Internacional: Mitos Prehispánicos en la Literatura Latinoamericana), which took place at the University of Liverpool in July 2008. Other contributors include SOCLAS’s Chris Harris and James Knight, as well as Thomas Phillips, Sheldon Penn, Joaquin Lameiro Tenreiro and Helena Usandizaga.

Dr Astvaldsson says:

Latin American literary and cultural studies are currently re-conceptualising the oral transmission and the textual and visual presence of indigenous, black and popular cultures, and there is still a lot to be learned about the symbolic and thematic value of these configurations in the context of the heterogeneity of Latin American literature. For example, we know that myth calls attention to modern processes that have not been completed and opens up possibilities of new and creative readings of modernity, which have the potential to develop new ways of resistance to the unfair forms in which many indigenous peoples are being treated.

Dr Astvaldsson will be giving the keynote speech, ‘Un mundo sonoro: naturaleza, cultura y resistencia en la poesía maya / A sonorous world: nature, culture and resistance in Mayan poetry’ at the III International Conference: Pre-Hispanic Myth in Latin American Literature at the Universidad de Alicante in November, 2011. He will also be speaking on the Mayan poet Humberto Ak’abal at the conference Centenario de Arguedas: Congreso Internacional at Birkbeck College, London in October, 2011 and at the II Coloquio Europeo de Investigación de RedISCA (Red Europea de Investigaciones sobre Centroamérica) at the Universidad Católica de Milán in November, 2011.