Race, Reason, and Rupture in the Americas
Arielismo takes its name from José Enrique Rodó’s foundational essay Ariel (1900), a wide‑ranging gospel dedicated to Latin American youth that incited a cultural awakening under the banner of the spirit throughout the Americas at an ominous juncture—when the US co-opted the Cuban War of Independence in 1898, effectively rebranding it as the Spanish‑American War. Rodó’s optimistic message of transcendence as an antidote to the encroaching empire quickly became one of the most pervasive and malleable paradigms of regional empowerment, reverberating throughout a range of Latin Americanist projects in the twentieth and twenty‑first centuries.
Centenary Subjects recovers a series of important but understudied essays penned by arielista writers, radicals, pedagogues, prophets, and politicians of diverse stripes in the early twentieth century, and analyzes how, under the auspices of the arielista platform, young people emerged as historical subjects invested with unprecedented cultural capital, increasing political power, and an urgent mandate to break with the past and transform the sociopolitical and cultural landscape of their countries. But their respective designs harbor racial, epistemological, aesthetic, and anarchistic strains that bring into sharper relief the conflicting signals that the centenary subject had to parse with respect to race, reason, and rupture.
1. Eurontologies: Racial Simulations in the Arielista Archive
2. Tethered Transcendence: Juvenescence, Introspection, Illumination
3. Pedagogies of Dissent: Anarchist Eclipses and the Suicidal Subject
4. Rodó Revered, Reviled, and Revamped: Neoarielismo in the Twenty-First Century
Coda: Evanescent Veneers of Interpellative Essayism
"Significant, original, and timely. This book adds to the range of texts and ideas that can be considered as parts of Rodó’s legacy . . . [and] speaks to our current moment, even as its research contribution will very likely continue to be relevant for years to come."
—Aníbal González-Pérez, author of In Search of the Sacred Book: Religion and the Contemporary Latin American Novel