The Estudios Culturales en las Américas Research Cluster invites you to join us for our Spring 2010 Brown Bag series. Our new Brown Bag Series is intended to foster dialogue among students and faculty and to help our graduate students obtain peer feedback on their work. We hope you will join us!
Wednesday, April 21 | 1:00pm | Voorhies 228
Grad Student, Cultural Studies
Latino cuisine, like other forms of ethnic food marketed via cookbooks and ethnic restaurants, serves up “heritage” and “tradition” for consumption. In this context, food becomes a way of transmitting culture and of spicing up daily meals while transforming the definition of “American”. Ethnic cuisines also act as a site where ethnoracial and national anxieties are mediated and worked out. At what point is Mexican food no longer foreign? Is it ever “American”? How do these imaginations imbue latinidad with pleasure/carnality/excess and simultaneously strip these from whiteness? What are the consequences of whiteness being posited as lack? By discussing Mexican and Nuevo Latino cuisine specifically, I ask how “heritage” is put to work, both by food-seekers as well as by the Latin@s this cuisine supposedly represents? What can the tensions between Nuevo Latino Cuisine and “traditional” Latin American cooking reveal about the relationships between tradition and modernity, authenticity and ethnic legitimacy? How are cultural anxieties about the role of Latinos in the American imaginary negotiated through foodways?
Wednesday, May 5 | 1:00pm | Voorhies 228
Doctoral Candidate, Cultural Studies
Proposed Dissertation Research: “A Tianguis of Books, or Making Books Public: Collective-Presses & Intellectual-Political Networks in a ‘Continent in Movement'”
I will be discussing my dissertation research which examines how alternative collectively-run presses are producing and circulating books about current politics in Latin America. In the context of the unprecedented political transformations currently shaping the region, often referred to as the “turn to the left,” I examine their organization and publishing practices to understand how they contribute to the formation of a transnational intellectual-political network that extends across the continent. For this multi-sited ethnography, I will be doing research from Sept 2010-Aug 2011 in Mexico City, La Paz, Bogotá, and Buenos Aires.
Wednesday, May 26 | 12:00pm | Social Sciences & Humanities 1271
Doctoral Candidate, Spanish and Portuguese
Through a detailed study of texts that have been written by many renowned salvadoran literati (Francisco Gavidia, Salarrué, Manlio Argueta, among others) and produced between the late 19th and late 20th century, her dissertation reflects upon the strategic use of popular myths in literature, often derived from the indigenous tradition of the region, a critical trait in the development not just of the national literary tradition but also in the nation’s identity. Her discussion this time will focus on preliminary readings or “apuntes” on two of Francisco Gavidia’s texts: “La loba”, a short story from 1875 and Historia Moderna de El Salvador, a history book from 1917).