This one-day conference seeks to explore understandings of magical realism in the 21st Century.
It aims to interrogate the category of 'magical realism' through an examination of its conventions, form and features, as well as its relationship with political, historical, and cultural contexts. There are no chronological or geographical boundaries for the conference and we welcome proposals from literature, history, cultural studies, film and screen studies, art, and social science in the hope that this will be an interdisciplinary conference with a transnational scope.
It has been over twenty years since the publication of Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community (1995), a collection of seminal essays which challenged the perception of magical realism as a form strictly reserved for Latin American writers. The collection instead repositioned magical realism as an international form used by writers from across the globe and to depict a variety of historical contexts. However, Netflix’s critically acclaimed Narcos (2015), a biopic of Pablo Escobar, firmly attributes magical realism to the Latin American context once again, opening with the statement:
"Magical realism is defined as what happens when a highly detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something too strange to believe. There is a reason magical realism was born in Colombia".