Victoria Ocampo, an Argentine writer, critic, and literary editor, was one of the most important Latin American intellectuals of the twentieth century. As a member of a privileged upper-class family, Ocampo was highly educated and, thus, able to travel to Europe throughout her life, spending the majority of her time in its cultural capital of Paris, and, as a result, forming close relationships with a large number of writers and artists. Although she quickly made new friends and contacts throughout the continent, who all expressed deep admiration and appreciation for her creativity, intelligence, and aesthetic sensibilities, she still felt that she was an outsider, which was only confirmed when many of these same acquaintances displayed their ignorance about South America. Fueled by her discontent with what she deemed the problem of Latin America, which was precisely its alienation and isolation from Europe, Ocampo launched a literary journal, Sur, that she conceptualized as a way to connect not only North and South America, but also Europe, the Americas, and even parts of Asia.
“Global Networks of Cultural Production” explores the emergence of a transatlantic literary print culture in Latin America during the twentieth century, primarily through the efforts of Victoria Ocampo. The project consists of a series of network analysis visualizations centered around Ocampo that detail her complex web of connections, both inside and outside of Latin America, through correspondence, translations, prologues, and edited editions. Making use of Princeton’s extensive papers of Latin American writers and key figures in the publishing industry, this project not only reveals the intricate circuits of conversation, collaboration, and creation that blossomed throughout the globe during this time, but also documents an archive of metadata about the physical aspects of the letters, magazines, journals, and other ephemera that link all of the involved intellectuals. Alongside the social network analysis visualizations, and the digital archive that fuels them, the second phase of this project will be to digitally reconstruct and map Ocampo’s movement throughout the world in an effort to highlight the strong female presence in Latin American publishing.
CDH Grant History
- 2017–2019 Postdoctoral Research Project