This is worth reading.
LASA meets in New York in 2016 and I would love to go to the conference and visit some people, and some archives there. But should I? I do not really have a paper idea for it. I am even less inclined to put a panel together, and the deadline is September 8. Then there is this on why not to go to too many conferences, too much spending for too little return.
I, of course, have decided that since my home environment is so inhospitable I should go to conferences anyway, since they make me feel very noticeably better; I have old papers I need to work on further and that are parts of my book(s). It does seem, though, that this conference, however beguiling, is one not to try to force; it will come to me if it does.
My idea, though, for now, is to address the comments I got on my ERIP paper, namely, that what I was critiquing was letrado discourse on mestizaje, when it does not mirror history (although it does try to produce it) and is not the only discourse. These are intriguing and true comments and I would like to write a paper exploring them.
Letrado discourse did seem to filter into popular consciousness through schools and other ideological state apparatuses but did it really create realities to the degree I was taught it did, and we felt clever saying it had at one time? How can it be set into context?
I need research time, more research time, more meditation, more calm. God save me from every form of extraordinary service, and give me the strength to maximize research time in every way I can.
That Goodrich article “From Barbarism to Civilization: Travels of a Latin American Text,” from ALH years ago, is one of those ancient articles I have in xerox and never recycle. My notes say it is important for Orientalist sources, oriental sources in María. I will think about this, or look at Orientalism in Latin America more broadly.
This piece is about Facundo and his U.S. connections, which included Horace Mann, and his French ones — for Facundo was popular in France because it supported colonial designs, and Sarmiento used Orientalist tropes to describe the pampas he had never seen and also to render them familiar in Europe.
(I am still not used to the idea that I can recycle this old xerox and surely download a PDF of the article.)
I also keep carrying around pieces of Hobsbawm’s Nations and Nationalism, and should just carry the book. The other piece that appears to matter is Lee Skinner, Martyrs of Miscegenation, about nineteenth century representations of colonial history, and I will get the book in question.
Other texts I would like to see are Anne Fountain, José Martí, The United States, and Race (new from Florida) and Wickstrom and Young, eds., Mestizaje and Globalization (new from Arizona).
In our library we have Basadre, and I will check him out. We have Anzaldúa’s Entrevistas, and there is a new book of Anzaldúa fragments out, Light in the Dark, edited by AnaLouise Keating (Duke), and there is the Gloria Anzaldúa Reader. I am the only person who does not find her particularly interesting or original, and I only seem to like her in class — students truly dislike her and I find myself making impassioned explanations. As I hear myself speak, I realize there is more to her than I give credit for.
What else is there?
University of Kansas. Cultural readings, audio, vocabulary, grammar.
Gramática para la composición
A book more serious students really like.
Language Lab Unleashed
More for educators than students, but it does discuss resources and study strategies.
Cultural podcasts for language learners, interesting and smart.
Spanish Grammar in Context
University of Texas. Grammar explained, using examples from current Texan Spanish.
A guide to contemporary usage, very good.
Clarissa is compiling a bibliography and it is good. This is the kind of course I would like to teach in the present circumstances — we do not teach our students enough Spanish for them to do sophisticated reading in Spanish at the upper division or early graduate levels, but I could give brilliant courses in English pitched to a broader audience.
Kelsky, Karen, “Intimate Ideologies: Transnational Theory and Japan’s ‘Yellow Cabs’.” Public Culture 14 (1994): 465-478.
There are lovely photographs in this journal as well but I cannot keep all old journal issues. I had kept this one for this piece, which “examines the larger racial and national ideologies that inform the yellow cab discourse.” (466) The author says:
The more I observe the yellow cabs and the rhetoric surrounding them the more I am convinced that they pose a challenge to a type of contemporary Western theory which celebrates the ‘creativity,’ ‘chaos,’ and ‘liberation’ to be found at points of interracial, intercultural, transnational contact on the postmodern borderlands. (466)
She says these sexual encounters “suggest not chaos but calculation, not interracial intimacy but exploitation, not liberation but submission to ancient and enduring stereotypes of race and nation.” (466)
These encounters and the discourse about them offer insight into ways in which “new forms of transnational, cosmopolitan cultural traffic . . . facilitate, even create, new forms of control and of desire. (466)
A bit further on there are quotations from M. Yoshim,oto who points out that “in the name of internationalization, any direct encounter with the Other is carefully avoided. Instead, the ultimate goal of internationalization is to transform the real into the imaginary.” (See Yoshimoto, “The postmodern and Mass Images in Japan,” Public Culture 1, no. 2 , 22.)
The foreign male is commodified and becomes an “imaginary” symbol within a domestic gender struggle between Japanese women and men . . . the gaijin lover is a “free-floating signifier” who signifies not intimacy and understanding but rather “the erasure of concrete social situations from the outside world” (Yoshimoto).
These “yellow cabs” function not within a Japanese space of festivals and reciprocity, but rather roam the borderlands between regimes, races, and nations. But they do not disrupt stereotypes: both sides of the interaction insist on the otherness of the Other.
Kelsky cites Torgovnick who also points out that contact and polyphony are not inherently liberating — and furthermore, if the carnivalesque means you cannot tell who is whom, then [colonial] contact is not carnival since it works to preserve distinctions.
Observe the English language connection: we tend to think of French as the language of reference for those writing in Portuguese and Spanish, but English is of very great importance to several. We must add to this list and get someone from Comparative Literature to write a dissertation.
Fernando PESSOA (Portugal)
Carlos DRUMMOND DE ANDRADE (Brazil)
Salomón DE LA SELVA (El Salvador)
Jorge Luis BORGES (Argentina)
José GARCIA VILLA (Philippines)
Nick JOAQUIN (Philippines)
About Pessoa, someone said this:
There is a cool documentary with this woman (she was in her late 90s when they filmed it) who was the second person in the world to write a dissertation on Pessoa, Cleonice Berardinelli. She reads many of his poems with Maria Bethânia. Here is something about it. There is a video at the end.