Symposium: Xul Solar and Jorge Luis Borges in Context

Singer Hall
Art, Architecture, Literature, and Popular Culture in Buenos Aires, 1920-1940

This symposium provides a contextual framework for the exhibition Xul Solar and Jorge Luis Borges: The Art of Friendship. Invited scholars will present new research on these two seminal intellectuals’ works, as well as broader discussions of art, architecture, and urban design; literature and film; and photography, popular culture, and politics in Argentina from the 1920s to the 1940s.

Professor Foster will open the symposium with a socio-historical and cultural analysis of the period under consideration, essential to understanding Argentine society during this time. Professor Bernardi will then consider the ways in which architecture and urbanism in Buenos Aires reflected a nascent sense of national Argentine identity and ideals of the modern that were illustrated in the works of leading artists, writers, and photographers. Professor Tompkins will then explore an under-studied aspect of Borges’ writing—film reviews—in terms of his views on mimesis (representation) by focusing on the contrasts between different film traditions and especially on the creation of verisimilitude in Hollywood films. These presentations will be followed by a roundtable discussion that will examine common threads and effectively sketch out a backdrop for understanding Solar’s and Borges’ works.

Attendees are encouraged to participate in a prolonged question and answer session at the end of the program.

This symposium is made possible by the generous support of the Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation.

Participating Scholars

José Bernardi, B. Arch., School of Architecture and Urbanism at the National University of Córdoba, Argentina; M.S.D. in Architecture, the University of Cincinnati.

Associate Professor of Design, The Design School, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Arizona State University

  • Areas of expertise: Latin American architecture, design, and urban narratives

David William Foster, Ph.D., Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Washington

Regents' Professor of Spanish and Women and Gender Studies, School of International Letters and Cultures, Arizona State University

  • Areas of expertise: urban culture in Latin America; Latin American narrative and theater; Argentine, Mexican, and Brazilian literature; Latin American film; Hispanic bibliography; literary/cultural theory; gender/queer theory

Dr. Foster has also held Fulbright teaching appointments in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay

Cynthia Tompkins, M.A., Ph.D., Comparative Literature, Pennsylvania State University.

Faculty Head of Spanish and Portuguese, School of International Letters and Cultures, and Director of the Undergraduate Certificate in Latin American Studies, Arizona State University

  • Areas of expertise: contemporary Latin American literature; cultural production and theory; Latin American women writers; Latin American film


Vanessa K. Davidson, M.A., Ph. D., Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, Shawn and Joe Lampe Curator of Latin American Art, Phoenix Art Museum

  • Areas of expertise: Latin American Art History, colonial to contemporary.

Image Credit

Astral Chart of Jorge Luis Borges. Pencil on paper. 11.5 x 14.5 cm (4.5 x 5.7 inches). Museo Xul Solar Collection.

Events Calendar • See All

July 2012
1 of 3
Film & Performance
July 18, 7pm
CF's Summer Film Series: Exit Through The Gift Shop