Marco Antonio Martínez
I specialize in modern Latin American and Latinx literatures and cultures. My research and teaching interests focus on artistic displacements, cultural translation, the global circulation of the arts, and dialogues between literature, visual arts, music, and dance.
My current book project, Aesthetics of Displacement: Mexican Artists in the Modern Metropolis, studies the contributions of poet José Juan Tablada, cartoonist Miguel Covarrubias, choreographer José Limón, and music theorist Carlos Chávez to New York’s modern art scene from 1920 to 1950. This study analyzes the ways in which different experiences of displacement—such as exile, migration, and foreignness—modify intellectual and artistic projects. I argue that in all four cases these experiences served to create an aesthetic of displacement, that is, an aesthetic that capitalizes on ethnic, racial, and social differences to establish cross-cultural ties between the artistic communities in both countries. By attending to their specific structures and effects and establishing an active relationship between the four different kinds of arts (literature, visual art, dance, and music), this book reflects on a socio-cultural exchange between Mexico and the U.S. that goes beyond the border, or “frontera”, paradigm. In this sense, the Mexico City-New York City connection also re-envisions the geography of international modernism and the global circulation of the arts as a process of constant displacement.
In published articles and courses I have taught, I have also been working on three other lines of study. The first one considers the representation of “tipos populares” in nineteenth-century photography in Mexico, Peru, and Brazil. The second examines the political imagination of “mexicanidad” in contemporary Mexican and Chicanx graphic novels. The last one demonstrates my interest in the relationship between sport and modernity in Latin America.