Commodifying Violence in Literature and on Screen : The Colombian Condition book cover
1st Edition

Commodifying Violence in Literature and on Screen
The Colombian Condition

ISBN 9780367459659
Published October 22, 2021 by Routledge
200 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book traverses the cultural landscape of Colombia through in-depth analyses of displacement, local and global cultures, human rights abuses, and literary and media production. Through an exploration of the cultural processes that perpetuate the "darker side" of Latin America for global consumption, it investigates the "condition" that has led writers, filmmakers, and artists to embrace (purposefully or not) the incessant violence in Colombian society as the object of their own creative endeavors. In this examination of mass-marketed cultural products such as narco-stories, captivity memoirs, gritty travel narratives, and films, Herrero-Olaizola seeks to offer a hemispheric approach to the role played by Colombia in cultural production across the continent where the illicit drug trade has made significant inroads. To this end, he identifies the "Colombian condition" within the parameters of the global economy while concentrating on the commodification of Latin America’s violence for cultural consumption.


The Open Access version of this book, available at, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Colombian Condition

Chapter 1: Narco-Stories Globalized: Pablo Escobar and Excess Consumption

Chapter 2: The Ingrid Betancourt Story: Memory in the Times of Mass Media

Chapter 3: The Travelogue Boom: Dark Exoticism for Global Consumption

Chapter 4: Affective Visuality: The Cinema of Conflict and Reconciliation

Epilogue: Post-Conflict Colombia?

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Alejandro Herrero-Olaizola is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is the author of The Censorship Files: Latin American Writers and Franco’s Spain (2007) and Narrativas híbridas: parodia y posmodernismo en la ficción contemporánea de las Américas (2000), and co-editor of Market Matters (Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies), Teaching the Latin American Boom (2015), and Territories of Conflict: Traversing Colombia Through Cultural Studies (2017). His articles have appeared in Symposium, Revista Crítica de Literatura Latinoamericana, Hispanófila, MLN, and Hispanic Review. Currently, he is the Editor of Revista de Estudios Colombianos. His research has been supported by the NEH, ACLS, and Fulbright fellowships.