INSTITUTO DE ANTROPOLOGIA DE CORDOBA
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
congresos y reuniones científicas
Structures and histories of the internationalization of publishing world. Argentina in Frankfurt
GUSTAVO SORÁ Y ALEJANDRO DUJOVNE
Congreso; The battle for books. SHARP bi-annual Meeting; 2012
Kings College University of Dublin
Since late 1950s, the Frankfurt Book Fair became the world center of publishing exchanges. Being in Frankfurt became an indispensable means to legitimize publishing houses, for publishers to show and expose themselves to the market and to seek to incorporate into global markets and the international circulation of symbolic goods. The Frankfurt fair synchronize the competition between publishers from different national markets and linguistic backgrounds, and allowed an intense dispute between publishing models. To control the growth of the fair, in 1966 the Börsenverein des Deutschland Buchhandels created an enteprise totally devoted to the organization of the fair: the Austellungs und Messe GmbH. The history of this fair and the power of the German market at the international level changed significantly since then. The fair and the German market promotion strategies were decisively marked by the action of Peter Weidhaas who was the Austellungs und Messe GmbH director between 1970 and 2002. In order to control the predominance of the Anglo-Saxon publishing market and the strength of best-sellers, Weidhaas developed diverse cultural policies. Among these, stand the focal themes(1976-1986) and the invitation of guest of honor-countries (1988 to present). The focus themes introduced political problems and issues related to cultural and publishing dominated regions. The invitation of guest of honor-countries revitalized competition among national markets, combining aspects of cultural diplomacy and business strategies characteristic of globalization. Our work explores these features of the evolution of the Frankfurt Book Fair and other power structures of the international publishing market in the light of the presence of Latin American publishers, focusing the analysis on the case of Argentina. Among other factors, we address the genesis and transformation of the place of the Argentina publishing market in the international arena since the 1960's until the recent presence of Argentina as a guest of honor country at the 2010 Book Fair edition. Our goal is two fold: first, to discuss theoretical issues relevant to understanding the place of book fairs in the articulation of international publishing markets since the 1960's; on the other hand, to understand specific practices and powers of the international market, from the perspective of dominated markets, of the South.