The corrido is a popular genre in nineteenth and twentieth century Mexican literature and social practice. Used in the oral and printed transmission of information, education, and, at times, subversive politics, corridos often take the form of narrative song, ballad, and/or poem and deal with oppression, history, and the day-to-day of rural life. Many academic studies of the history and form of the corrido — e.g. Vicente T. Mendoza, Américo Paredes, and Merle E. Simmons — treat it as a genealogical object. Whether that genealogy can be effectively traced — that is, whether there is a broken or unbroken step-by-step development from Spanish romance ballads to Mexican corridos through the resemblance of formal attributes — is a topic of debate, but missing from this conversation are Chicana/o appropriations and deployments of this form, whether in the Chicano nationalism of the 1960s and 70s, or the postmodern and post-nationalist chicanisma/o of the 80s and 90s. A result is the impression that the corrido is, post-1930, static or, even, dead.
The inter-UC EcoMaterialisms Collective has announced the keynote for its 2016 graduate conference “EcoMaterialisms: Scales of Matter(ing)” to be held at UC Davis: Zakiyyah Iman Jackson. Here’s a description of her work:
“My book in progress, tentatively titled The Blackness of Space Between Matter and Meaning, argues that key Black Atlantic literary, visual, and philosophical texts generate a critical praxis of humanity, paradigms of relationality, and modes of embodiment that alternately expose, alter, or reject the nexus of ‘race’ and ‘species’ discourse in Western science and philosophy. Reading the existential predicament of modern racial blackness through and against the human-animal distinction in Western philosophy and science reveals not only the mutual imbrication of ‘race’ and ‘species’ in Western thought but also invites a reconsideration of the extent to which exigencies of racialization have preconditioned and prefigured modern discourses governing the nonhuman. Ultimately, The Blackness of Space reveals the pernicious peculiarity of both prevailing foundational conceptions of ‘the human’ rooted in Renaissance and Enlightenment humanism and current ‘multiculturalist’ alternatives. What emerges from this questioning is an emphatically queer sense of being/knowing/feeling human, one that necessarily disrupts the foundations of the current hegemonic mode of the Human.”
I’ve submitted three abstracts in the past week, each for an exciting event and each, should I be accepted, allowing me to work out what might become important ideas for my dissertation.
- “Natural History and ‘The Question of the Organism'” for the Comparative Literature Graduate Conference at UC Irvine: Abstraction (March 11-12, 2016).
- “A Geology of Borders: Time and Movement in Juan Rulfo’s El llano en llamas“ for the XXII Annual Juan Bruce-Nova Mexican Studies Conference at UC Irvine: Mobility, Movements, Mobilizations (May 5-7, 2016).
- “Freud’s Homology: The Psychic Apparatus and the Organism” for an International Conference at Emory University: New Materialisms and Economies of Excess (September 29-October 21, 2016).
So far, I’ve been very lucky in terms of the conferences I’ve participated in and the amount of help they’ve provided in developing ideas. The ideas in each of these abstracts will have to be worked out sooner or later but I really prefer to do that work in collaboration.
In addition, I’m confirmed to present an excerpt from my “Uncanny Meat” essay:
- “‘The bear was all cut open, it was full of people’: The Creaturely and the Meaty in Herzog’s Grizzly Man“ for an International Symposium at the Université de Toulouse Jean Jaurès, France: Companion Species in North American Cultural Productions (June 17, 2016).
The organizers for this event are editing a special issue of Caliban, a French Journal of American Studies, titled “Planète en partage/Sharing the Planet” and so I’m hoping to put the finishing touches on the essay and, finally, publishing it.