Sunday, March 2, 2008

Tomás Rivera, …y no se lo trago la tierra…

I. Antecedents

José Antonio Villarreal, Pocho (1959)

José Antonio Villareal’s novel Pocho: A Novel About a Young Mexican American Coming of Age in California (1959) was considered to be the first Latino novel published in English prior to the archival work undertaken by Rosaura Sánchez and Beatrice Pita.

II. Tomás Rivera (1935—1984)

...And the Earth Did Not Devour Him (1971)

III. Literary history and Earth

a. Truncated Comparisons
William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying (1930)
Juan Rulfo, Pedro Páramo (1944)

B. Intertext
Nellie Campobello, Cartucho (1931)


The Short Life of José Antonio Gutierrez

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ballad of Gregorio Cortez

It would be useful to review Américo Paredes' "With His Pistol In His Hand": A Border Ballad and Its Hero. Other items of note include samples of corridos.

Bill for prosecution of Gregorio Cortez

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez
(1982), dir. Robert M. Young

Edward James Olmos / Gregorio Cortez

James Gammon / Sheriff Frank Fly

Tom Bower / Boone Choate

Bruce McGill / Reporter Blakely

Brion James / Captain Rogers

Alan Vint / Mike Trimmell

Timothy Scott / Sheriff Morris

Pepe Serna / Romaldo Cortez

Michael McGuire / Sheriff Glover

William Sanderson / Cowboy

Barry Corbin / Abernathy

Jack Kehoe / Prosecutor Pferson

Rosanna DeSoto / Carlota Muñoz

Buddy Vigil / Skin

Zach Porter / Fly's Posse

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

"Authenticity" and Representational Agency

Last week we discussed how MARB attempts to trump popular renditions of Mexican American men and women through the appeal for inclusion through "whiteness" in The Squatter and the Don. In the video below, representational agency (the mechanism through which subaltern consent is granted, disavowed, or negotiated) gains it's force through the performance of Latino "authenticity," or, more specifically, the performance of Boricua racial and class "authenticity." This "authenticity" elides an exhausted but necessary question Spivak posited in another context, "Can the Subaltern Speak"?

Spivak, who took to task in this foundational essay the work of Foucault and Deleuze, noted how contemporary critical theory’s focus on the elucidation of power formations inadvertently reinscribes colonial domination by purporting to give the subaltern a voice in theory but not in practice. By requiring or suggesting that the dispossessed speak for themselves, the critic obscures her or his own imbrication in a type of knowledge production that ultimately asks the subaltern to reiterate how they have been oppressed. Spivak seems to be saying that knowledge production is neither innocent or disinterested. “Tell me how we conquered you?,” then, might be a more honest but ethically suspect question for the subaltern. This, of course, is not a disavowal of the possibility of radical left critique but merely its precondition. Spivak’s critique of Foucault and Deluze is hardly they are not committed to transformative politics, but rather that they fail to address their complicity in the very system they attempt to elucidate.

How can "representational agency" in this context help us understand MARB's consent and paradoxical disavowal of "the American 1848"? We will attempt to answer this question through analytical and analogical means. However, we will first start with the question's iteration in a very presentist context. The video below will serve as a starting point.

Keywords for MARB's Squatter and the Don:

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Puerto Rican Body Politic

U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite speaks during a debate in the House Chambers in Washington in this file photo. (ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO / March 20, 2005)

In a stunning collapse of historical, cultural and intellectual memory Ginny Brown-Waite calls residents of Puerto Rico "foreign citizens."

". . . The bill sends hundreds of millions of dollars to people who do not pay federal income taxes, including residents of Puerto Rico and territories like Guam. I do not believe American taxpayer funds should be sent to foreign citizens who do not pay taxes. Americans want an economic stimulus for Dunnellon, Brooksville and Clermont, not for San Juan or Hagatna. As the legislation moves forward, it must be changed to ensure that only federal taxpaying American citizens receive rebate checks."

Dead Citizenship: Guam residents received citizenship in 1950. Puerto Ricans have been U.S. citizens since 1917 when the U.S. needed additional "bodies" at the end of WWI.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008