During the US Cold War boom in area studies, scholars would sometimes innocently support homeland economic and political interests. In Latin America and elsewhere, the fact-finding focus often morphed into the look of love, as objects of investigation turned out to be more charming than alarming. Inevitably, interrogations led to lessons in sociability and wit to derail some missions promoted by private and public Cold Warriors. Ethical quandaries would soon turn new North American lovers of Latin America toward ironies related to the metaphor of cannibalism that Brazil’s Oswald de Andrade formulated in his 1928 “Manifesto antropófago.” “Who eats whom?” they asked. And, “Is it bad?” For humanists, thanks to theoretical contributions in literary studies by Jorge Luis Borges, and for the range of arts by Luis Camnitzer, scholars north and south have been learning that the vital processes of ingestion and appropriation give flesh and blood to art and to life in general. Reformulating ethical questions, scholars now ask about levels of collaboration and mutual admiration. Interest need not disappear when love arrives. That’s why teachers today (through Pre-Texts, for example) can appropriate the art processes they love in the hope of developing student skills and civility.

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