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Grant number like: FA-57862-14

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Marcy Ellen Schwartz
Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8559)
Reading Programs, Cultural Engagement, and Civic Participation in Latin America: A Comparative Approach

In Public Pages I study reading programs in Latin American cities that aim to redefine cultural engagement and civic participation and rely on urban infrastructure. My comparative approach examines programs in the last two decades in cities in Colombia, Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Public reading initiatives invest in reading for both social and literary value, use public space, distribute creative writing to a mass public, encourage collective reading, and provide access to literature in unconventional arenas. To enrich public space and human interactions, several cities distribute free books on public transit. Cartonera publishers bind books in recycled cardboard to create inexpensive editions. Postdictatorship libraries of banned books offer public access and spaces of commemoration. This interdisciplinary project contributes to Latin American literary, urban and cultural studies, and public policy, with implications for education, literacy, public safety and political agency.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Latin American Literature; Latin American Studies

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2015 – 6/30/2016