Argentine Intimacies: Queer Kinship in an Age of Splendor, 1890-1910 (SUNY Press, 2019)
As Argentina rose to political and economic prominence at the turn of the twentieth century, debates about the family, as an ideological structure and set of lived relationships, took center stage in efforts to shape the modern nation. In Argentine Intimacies, Joseph M. Pierce draws on queer studies, Latin American studies, and literary and cultural studies to consider the significance of one family in particular during this period of intense social change: Carlos, Julia, Delfina, and Alejandro Bunge. One of Argentina’s foremost intellectual and elite families, the Bunges have had a profound impact on Argentina’s national culture and on Latin American understandings of education, race, gender, and sexual norms. They also left behind a vast archive of fiction, essays, scientific treatises, economic programs, and pedagogical texts, as well as diaries, memoirs, and photography. Argentine Intimacies explores the breadth of their writing to reflect on the intersections of intimacy, desire, and nationalism and to expand our conception of queer kinship. Approaching kinship as an interface of relational dispositions, Pierce reveals the queerness at the heart of the modern family. Queerness emerges not as an alternative to traditional values so much as a defining feature of the state project of modernization.
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