English & Comparative Literature, and Chicana & Chicano Studies San Diego State University
Thursday, February 28, 2013
What happens to the mind of a relatively sane Mexican American academic when doused with the derisive laughter of an East Coast undergraduate student? What madness ensues once that self-same “scholar” uses his academic superpowers to catalogue Mexican stereotypes in the United States? Mextasy! Students and faculty are in for a MEXSTATIC multimedia presentation examining dominant trends in the 21st century representation of Latinas and Latinos in American popular culture. From Hollywood to Madison Avenue, specific and damaging visions of Latina/o subjectivity have infected the synapses of Americans, and Mexicans alike. “Ethnic mannequins” (such as William Levy, Eva Longoria, and Sophia Vergara) infect consciousness even as they entertain. Nor are they divorced from the talk-radio fueled renaissance on racialized hatred. If Lou Dobbs screams hysterically that Mexicans are “diseased” and Rush Limbaugh encourages his listeners to tell “Mexicans” to go back to “their country,” what are the effects? Research suggests that these collective efforts have led to a resurgence of anti-Latino hate and hate crimes at the very moment that the U.S. becomes more demographically and decidedly Latino/a. The presentation will feature excerpts from Tex[t]-Mex, Eyegiene, the Tex[t]-Mex Galleryblog and art from Mextasy.
William Nericcio is Professor of English & Comparative Literature and Chicana & Chicano Studies, and Director of the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences program at San Diego State University. He is the author of Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of “Mexicans” in America (2007), and editor of The Hurt Business (2008), and Homer from Salinas: John Steinbeck’s Enduring Voice for California (2009). Nericcio blogs at http://textmex.blogspot.com/.
Presented as part of B/ordering Violence: Boundaries, Gender, Indigeneity in the Americas, a John E. Sawyer Seminar in Comparative Cultures generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and co-sponsored by the Latin American & Caribbean Studies program, the Jackson School of International Studies, the Simpson Center for the Humanities, and the Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, & Sexuality (WISER).
For more on the B/ordering Violence Seminar Series, visit www.borderingviolence.com.