THE MATURITY DISEQUILIBRIUM OF SPANISH AMERICAN LITERATURE IN THE AGE OF DIGITAL HUMANITIES: NATIONAL LITERATURES VS. CRITICAL RECEPTION
University of Quebec at Montreal (CANADA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:In 1975, Roberto Fernández Retamar stated the particular situation of Spanish American literature: «more mature, itself, than the theorization and the critique about it» . Based on the concepts of literary field (Bourdieu 1992), scientometrics (De Solla Price 1963, Garfield 1980, Leydesdorff 1998), and, knowledge domain analysis (Hjorland and Albrechtsen 1995), in this article, I will analyze the diffusion of the critical reception of Spanish American literature.
As pointed out by Fernández Retamar, since the boom of the Spanish American novel, the national literatures belonging to the 19 countries that compose the subcontinent have rapidly evolved, showing a very significant growth in terms of quality and volume. Nevertheless, the scenario of the academic reception of this literature seems to be substantially different, since, apparently, a relatively important volume of the critical bibliography is published overseas.
In this analysis, I will use the data mining technique in order to explore over 2,200 journals that contain approximately 45,000 articles about Spanish American literature. My purpose will be to elaborate several bibliometric indicators in order to classify the journals and the bibliographic references according to the language and place of publication and to compare them to the relative importance that the different national literatures represent in this bibliography. Firstly, the indicators will be obtained from the Modern Language Association International Bibliography (MLAIB), covering a period of over 100 years (1896-2007). Although this database includes several types of documents –books, book chapters, articles, and thesis–, I will focus on the articles since this is the most rapidly growing type of publication in the field. Secondly, using other databases such as Ulrich, WorldCat and the Library of Congress of the United States, I will complete the information related to the journals. Thus, through this data integration process, I will be able to obtain a map of the diffusion of the critical bibliography about Spanish American literature. Finally, I will compare the places of literary production to the centers of critical publication. This will allow us to observe if there effectively is a situation of geographical displacement from creation to reception; a characteristic that would corroborate the state of maturity disequilibrium of Spanish American literature, as indicated by Fernández Retamar.
At a higher level of analysis, my purpose will be to illustrate the importance and the potentiality that digital humanities represent for studying the development of the literary field.
Keywords: Digital humanities, Spanish American literature, scientometrics, bibliometrics, critical reception, literary field.