Motley Geopoetics in Contemporary Bolivian Narratives


In the words of Kenneth White, “geopoetics opens a space of culture, thought and life. In other words, a world” (White, 1989; Galvani, 2010) in which the landscape presents itself as part of a larger lifeworld (Husserl, 2008; Italiano, 2008). Georg Simmel affirms that “[i]n front of a landscape, the wholeness of the being of nature strives to draw us into itself” (2007: 29). This is, to use the words of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, because “things are the prolongation of my body and my body is the prolongation of the world” (1968: 255). If it is not synonymous with the lifeworld, the landscape—at least—is an expression of it.

In Latin America, the reorganization of this lifeworld, together with the social construction of space and landscape (Brambilla, 2015), suffers the marked consequences of the process of coloniality (Quijano, 2014) that reawakens and reproduces its devastating economic logic and policies.

Within this context and based on one of the central ideas of the Bolivian sociologist René Zavaleta Mercado, this dossier proposes that in Bolivia we are not only dealing with a motley society (Zavaleta, 2013; González Almada, 2017b) due to the non-articulated superimposition of different times, spaces, and forms of economic organization, but—we presume—we find a plurality of horizons (González Almada, 2017a), in which landscapes and moods are interwoven and made visible in dissimilar affective expressions (Moraña & Sánchez Prado, 2012). In other words, the motely—in the case of our proposal—also involves the world of the sensible that is materialized in a diverse cultural output that exceeds the limits of a genre or artistic discipline. Therefore, literature, cinema, theater, and performance, among other artistic expressions, become scenarios of sensibility for the representation of diverse realities, of subjectivities marked by the traces of territorial or symbolic displacement and along with it the mobility of affect.

All this allows us to focus on a critical view of the dialogical relationship produced between the motley and the mobility of affect, determining features of Bolivian cultural manifestations of the last decades inscribed in diverse geopoetics. For this reason, we invite critics from different disciplines to approach this phenomenon in relation to the following themes:



  • The articulation between geography and historical memory in literature and visual culture.
  • Cartographies of feminine poetics and narrative.
  • Political corporeality and affect in current cultural expression.
  • Revisiting the canon: nostalgia, melancholy, collapse, and myths of return/recurrence.
  • Geopoetic configurations in Bolivian literature and art.
  • The emergence of conflicting subjectivities in contemporary Bolivian narratives.
  • Migrant writings and the configuration of textual territories.
  • Languages and cultural translation in the indigenous poetics of Bolivia.        


Information and important dates:


Proposals must include an abstract of no more than 300 words that includes: the title of the article, a brief explanation of the context being analyzed, and a summary of the main discussion points. Articles can be written in Spanish, English, Portuguese, or native languages. Authors must also send a biographical sketch of no more than 250 words.


Deadline to receive proposals: September 1, 2021.

Deadline for review of proposals and notice to authors: October 1, 2021.

Deadline to receive articles: June 1, 2022

Scheduled publication date: Fall 2022



The articles should be sent to the email address




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