Assistant Professor Javier Guerrero recently won the Latin American Studies Association's Sylvia Molloy Award for the best peer-reviewed article in the Humanities published in 2016. The annual award is given by the Sexualities Section of the Latin American Studies Association, the largest scholarly association of Latin Americanists.
His article, “Casa de citas: José Martí, Oscar Wilde y el renacimiento de la fotografía de autor,” reexamines the two chronicles that the Cuban intellectual José Martí wrote about Oscar Wilde’s arrival in the United States. The article reveals that Martí wrote these chronicles without attending Oscar Wilde’s lecture in New York City, although he nonetheless blindly quotes the presentation. Based on impressive archival research, the article argues that this gesture demonstrates the power of the image, particularly the pictures of Wilde that were taken in Manhattan, pictures that constitute the rebirth of author photography and reveal the possibility of acquiring a new skin.
The 2017 jury noted an especially large number of outstanding and cutting-edge articles were published this year, and explained that it chose Guerrero’s piece for its critical rereading of tradition and new understandings of the interplay between literature, sexualities, and visual culture.