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‘La Callejera’: Streetwalks through Minas Gerais in Autran Dourado’s Uma vida em segredo (1964)

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This article offers an analysis of Autran Dourado’s short novel Uma vida em segredo (1964), and specifically of its protagonist, Biela. Inseparable from the ideological structures of her specific social location in the state of Minas Gerais at the turn of the twentieth century, Biela gradually becomes what Maria Lugones defines as ‘la callejera’, a female streetwalker of tactical, strategic and active subjectivity. Bielare rearticulates dichotomies of domination and subdual at multiple scales (body, house, city, region, nation) to reveal human experience as ‘grounded’ in specific time and place, and part and parcel of urban processes spanning from the Velha República at the turn of the twentieth century to the start of the dictatorship marking the novel’s publication in 1964.
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Keywords: Autrán Dourado; Barroquismo; Belo Horizonte; Desenvolvimentismo; La Callejera; María Lugones; Minas Gerais

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Augustana College

Publication date: July 1, 2017

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  • Cities have been increasingly at the forefront of debate in both humanities and social-science disciplines, but there has been relatively little dialogue across these disciplinary boundaries. Journals in social-science fields that use urban-studies methods to look at life in cities rarely explore the cultural aspects of urban life in any depth or delve into close readings of the representation of cities in individual cultural products. As a platform for interdisciplinary scholarship from any and all linguistic, cultural and geographical traditions, the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies prioritizes the urban phenomenon in order to better understand the culture(s) of cities.
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