Hendrickson, Janet: Travel Grant - 2017-2018

College of Arts and Sciences
Romance Studies
Project Title: 
Citing Sources: Aesthetic Appropriations of the Reference Book in Argentina and Brazil
Project Abstract: 
My research examines contemporary literature and art that takes the form of reference genres—for example, the dictionary, the encyclopedia, and the archive—to see how they still might inform in their new contexts. The works I study connect their experiments with genre to question the concept of language as reference—that is, of words referring to the things they signify—to rethink the ontology of language itself. This summer I plan to interview three of the figures I study: Nuno Ramos, a Brazilian writer and artist whose collection of “false essays,” Ó, considers language as material; Mario Ortiz, an Argentine writer whose Language and Literature Workbooks propose language as thing; and Wlademir Dias-Pino, a Brazilian avant-garde poet whose Visual Encyclopedia seeks to do away with written language altogether. I will base my travel in Rio de Janeiro, where in addition to interviewing Dias-Pino, who lives there, I will help develop a partnership between students from literature departments at Cornell and the Pontifical Catholic University there, and also share my work.