Introducing Hyperworld(s): Language, Culture, and History in the Latin American world(s)

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Portal Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, 2008, 5 (1), pp. 1 - 23
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This introduction to the January 2008 special edition of PORTAL engages with the processes by which, in the early 21st centuryan information age of hypertechnology, post-nationalism, post-Fordism, and dominating transnational mediaculture and economy have become fused, and globalizations tend towards the mercantilization, commodification, and privatization of human experience. We recognize that access to the technologies of globalizations is uneven. Although cyberspace and other hypertechnologies have become an integral part of workspaces, and of the domestic space in most households, across Western industrialized societies, and for the middle and upper-classes everywhere, this is not a reality for most people in the world, including the Latin American underclasses, the majority of the continents population. But we also agree with pundits who note how that limited access has not prevented a `techno-virtual spillover into the historical-material world. More and more people are increasingly touched by the techno-virtual realm and its logics, with a resultant transformation of global imaginaries in response to, for instance, the global spread of privatised entertainment and news via TV, satellites and the internet, and virtualized military operations (wars on terror, drugs, and rogue regimes). Under these hyperworldizing conditions, we asked, how might we talk about language, culture and history in Latin America, especially since language has an obvious, enduring importance as a tool for communication, and as the means to define culture and give narrative shape to our histories and power struggles?
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