Alfred Arteaga (UC Berkeley)
A Border Zeitgeist
Pardigms for Chicanismo envision a Chicano subject that comes to be in the
space straddling the United States and Mexico, the first and third worlds, Anglo
and Latin America. This spatalization of cultural conflict has resulted in the
importance of notions such as the border, trans- and intranational migration,
the homeland, and the nation.
A precursor to the Chicano, the Pachuco, can be envisioned not only as a spatial
subject but also as a temporal subject. The Pachuco came to be in the times
straddling World War II and was herald to a changing zeitgeist,
cultural change, such as migration and transgression, was played out not only
in space but in time.
Christian Berkemeier (U Paderborn)
"Frenchizing" the South: Anne Rice's New Orleans
Evocations of New Orleans in American Literature have always featured confrontations
with French and Creole cultures. The subtropical and tropical settings have
induced the intrusion of topical elements from chivalry to exoticism. In postmodern
literature, all of these influences have been blended into metanarratives altering
between minimalistic cultural cliches and experimental writings that attempt
to negotiate hybridity throughout their structure.
Neogothic literature, as one branch of the contemporary literary scene, has
rediscovered the traditional and topical elements of the region on the borderline
between races, classes and gender roles: In her Vampire Chronicles,
Anne Rice locates superstition, witchcraft, and vampirism in New Orleans which
she stylizes as a site of early decadence and difference. The paper will include
approaches to both literary and visual material.
Helmbrecht Breinig (U Erlangen-Nürnberg)
Difference and Transdifference: Gendered Perceptions of Latin American
Alterity in U.S. Literature
It has become a truism that the U.S.-American alterity discourse concerning
Latin America is characterized by certain stereotypical notions of the exotic
Other. For instance, Latin American landscapes and other aspects of physical
or cultural geography are often represented in genderized terms, mostly as the
mysterious feminine to be invaded and, hopefully, conquered by the protagonist
from the north. The equation of identity/alterity models with those of superiority/inferiority
thus applies to concepts of cultural difference as well as of gender.
In addition, gender relations south of the border are frequently seen as repeating
this pattern on a subordinate level of symbolic construction by being characterized
by machismo and immorality. However, a closer look at both elite and popular
texts will reveal that the intersection of cultural and gender discourses frequently
results in a subversion of such binarisms and in the emergence of subject positions
beyond the difference of Self and Other.
While forms of hybridity and transdifference are familiar in texts from the
"margin" (in postcolonial terms), they can be shown to be operative
also in the discursive structure of texts from the North American hegemonial
"center." These discursive phenomena can be fruitfully analyzed by
applying contemporary cultural and gender theories.
Barbara Buchenau (U Göttingen)
Alternate Identities and Creolities in Canada
English-speaking Canada is said to have a long-standing tradition of fashioning
itself as a "'not-America'" (Gwyn, The 49th Paradox
Endeavors to define specifically Canadian social, political, and cultural positions
in reference to and mostly in contradistinction to American society and culture
can be regarded as paradigmatic cases of what James A. Boon has called "symbolic
anthropology," namely the delimitation of the cultural Self from the -
often stereotypically perceived - Other. Following Boon, we recognize
the strategic intention to reenact or to establish cultural borders to be at
the heart of Canadian cultural identity formation. However, as Mireille Rosello
reminds us, any self-fashioning involves an "amnesic creolity," a
forgetting or repressing of the cultural hybridity that was always already there.
The work of three authors aligned with a Canada in the making illuminates the
Canadian concern for external and internal cultural borderlines, pointing out
three options for a relational Canadian cultural self-awareness. Emily Pauline
Johnson, in her time better known as the writer and performer Tekahionwake,
has challenged the Confederation-time vision of a Euro-Canada affiliated with
British culture by blurring the boundaries between Euro-Canadian and Native
cultures. Johnson's creolity, which refuses to be amnesic, at first sight stands
in contradistinction to the cultural self-awareness of her Anglo-Saxon contemporary
Sara Jeannette Duncan, a key figure in late nineteenth-century Canadian literary
life. However, Duncan's move to India creolizes her standpoint. In the light
of her exile, both her political embrace of British imperialism and her engagement
for a cultural affiliation with the USA take on new meanings. A purely optional
creolity comes to the fore in the ethnic impersonation of the German immigrant
Frederick Philip Grove, whose supposed Scottish-Swedish descent authorizes his
vision of a new Canadian multicultural society which is to represent a better
Heiner Bus (U Bamberg)
American Hemispheric Identity Between Ariel and Caliban; or Elsewhere?
Caliban, Prospero's slave, and Ariel, the airy spirit, from Shakespeare's The
have been used to construct a hemispheric American identity as
opposed to the various foundational myths of the colonizers. Ever since José
Martí writers and cultural critics from the Caribbean, Middle, and South
America have tried to define an alternative identity, drawing on native resources
and others conspicuously in opposition to the overpowering Anglo-Saxon narrative.
José Martí's "Our América" (1891) as reformulated
and extended by Roberto Fernández Retamar (1971/1986) and José
David Saldívar (1991/1997), Rubén Darío's poetry, and José
Enrique Rodó's Ariel
(1900) will provide the criteria such as
the existence of ancient civilizations, the superior use of natural resources,
the contributions to an American revolutionary tradition, the virtues of endurance
as victims of colonization or the rich resources of spirituality as opposed
to the Anglo-Saxon sense of acquisition and greed.
Both the Caliban and the Ariel models for a hemispheric identity apparently
suffer from the strong fixation on Anglo-Saxon mainstream mythology, from the
burdens of theory, and, as all generalizations, from an ignorance of the large
variety of the regional and local experience. Instead of striving for an all-inclusive
theory, writers and cultural critics should examine what U.S. ethnic, Caribbean
and Meso-American writers have already achieved on a smaller scale: the transgression
of boundaries, the discovery of transnational border cultures, the deconstruction
of the myths of Anglo-Saxon dominance, the revitalisation of long-forgotten
traditions of U.S. history and culture, and a innovative focus on the intricacies
of successful nation building as permanent interaction between inclusion and
exclusion. They have also moved beyond the mere jeremiad bemoaning the fragmentation
of individual identities through colonization on to the exposure of an intricate
web of interdependencies between victim and victimizer.
Tomás Christ (U Bielefeld)
Subversive Strategies in Latino Underground Music
Underground Music is the reservoir of Mainstream Music, a place where new genres
and musical styles are tried out and developed to perfection, a place with different
rules than those of the Mainstream.
The paper examines two articulations of Latino Underground Music from the past
decade. The two bands, Brujería and Stoic Frame, from the Los Angeles
area and Albuquerque, NM respectively, represent two different subgenres of
contemporary Latino Underground Rock. Breaking away from musical styles, that
in the eyes of the mainstream are associated with Latino/a identities (such
as Salsa or Conjunto ) the two bands present a subversive moment of Latino Underground
Music, but in quite different arrangements of musical and political elements.
Both make use of a set of techniques in order to influence their audience towards
a different view on certain social and political issues. These techniques, that
can be seen as part of a subversive strategy, are: a hybridized musical discourse,
a play with identity, that is the invention of a different, subversive identity,
self-irony, exaggeration, political non-conformism and the transgression of
norms, by way of constructing an alternative, transnational discourse. Songs
from both bands will be played during the presentation.
Stephan Gramley (U Bielefeld)
Hybrid Cultures, Hybrid Languages
This contribution explores the question of hybridity by looking at whether
hybrid cultures can be grasped in terms of language contact phenomena (or other
cultural contact phenomena such as in the area of religion). The metaphor of
hybridity in the area of language frequently suggests pure sources and degenerate
offspring. Is there anything to this? Basically we are dealing here with two
myths: the myth of the purity of the progenitor languages and the myth of the
inferiority of bastard offspring languages. Is the experience of language applicable
elsewhere? America provides us with examples of hybrid languages (pidgins and
creoles), language levelling (koinés), linguistic borrowing, and language
shift (including language loss and language death). The question whether any
of these concepts can be applied to cultural contact as well is pursued here.
Silke Hensel (U Köln)
Moments in U.S.-Latino History: Assertions of a Hispanic Presence
Latino presence in the U.S. is no recent development, although on a national
level it only came under focus in the 20th century. At the turn of the 20th
century, the Spanish-American war shed light on the new role the U.S. wanted
to play in Latin America. At the same time, it brought Puerto Ricans into the
country. Today they constitute a large minority group especially in New York
City. During the 1920s and 1930s Mexicans became a target of nativists who wanted
the United States to be a homogenous country. Again in the 1940s the issue of
Mexican immigration was brought up because of the bracero program. From the
end of the 1950s another group - the Cubans - received attention
from the U.S. government and the public alike. These groups today constitute
the largest immigration communities of Latin American descent, but members of
virtually all nations in the so called Western Hemisphere live in the U.S.
Latino history in the U.S. shows in exemplary ways that collective identities
are multiple and flexible. Today the governmental putting-together of all citizens
of Latin American extraction under the label "Hispanic" is disputed.
Yet, on special occasions, different nationality groups organized on the basis
of a shared cultural tradition. This was the case in New York during the 1920s
and 1930s when Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Spaniards, and others identified as hispanos.
Latino identity also lingers between racial and ethnic categorizations. During
the first half of the 20th century Mexicans were considered to belong to a race
which in 1930 resulted in the oficial census category. But Mexicans were eager
to fight against this categorization which ultimately would have meant legal
segregation. Since then they are considered to form an ethnic group although
tendencies from within started to refer to racial identities in the 1960s.
Some of these changes in collective identification and the meaning given to
them will be looked upon. It will be argued that they must be seen as part of
the constant struggle of Latinos for full citizenship in the United States.
Markus Heide ( U München)
Visual Encounters: Cultural Exchange in U.S.-Latino Cinema
In my paper I will investigate the relation between identity construction,
cultural exchange and the symbolic negotiation of cultural hybridity in U.S.-Latino
Cinema - or to be more precise, in Chicano film. I will firstly introduce
representational practices of Chicano films and I will then show a selection
of scenes from movies to illustrate my arguments.
As representational discourse, film participated in articulating and forming
the concept of "the Chicano." From my analysis of U.S.-Latino cinema,
I conclude that there are three strategies of depicting cultural contact in
Chicano film: (1) Cultural nationalism; (2) Dissolution of alterity: melting,
assimilation, sameness; (3) Deconstruction of homogeneity, authenticity and
pureness. I argue that in most films these three strategies are intertwined
in complex ways. The "contact scenes" (that I selected) illustrate
to what extent cultural exchange does take place or does not take place in the
construction of identities within representation. U.S.-Latino cinema is a meeting
ground of differences within particular histories; identities are constructed
through the depiction of "contact"; such depiction negotiates hybridity
in the Americas.
Monika Kaup (U of Washington, Seattle)
The Sea That Is Not One: Fluid Hybridity in Caribbean Discourse
How can we imagine a counterpoetics of heterogeneity and difference to the
repetition of the same? And are there possible overlaps between such projects
concerning gender and race and ethnicity? As a preliminary answer to this question,
my project is to discuss striking parallels between the feminist counterpoetics
of difference proposed by feminist philosopher Luce Irigaray and the postcolonial
counterpoetics of creolization in contemporary Francophone Caribbean theorists
and writers Edouard Glissant and Patrick Chamoiseau.
Irigaray, Glissant, and Chamoiseau all argue that, for the Other to be articulated
as a distinct voie from the dominant Same, it takes a procedure of archaeology
of memory to recover and unveil the hidden Other. Irigaray and the Caribbean
theorists of creolization conceptualize a strikingly "feminine" or
weak mode of opposition. Theirs is a "dissolution," rather than "deconstruction,"
of Western metaphysics that uses as its central trope the idea of the sea and
the fluid of the alterity to be recovered. I will be discussing Irigaray's Marine
Lover of Friedrich Nietzsche (1980; 1991), Edouard Glissant's Caribbean
Discourse (1981; 1989) and Poetics of Relation (1990; 1997) and
Patrick Chamoiseau's novel Texaco (1992; 1997).
Beyond the Binary: The New Mestiza as an Inter-American Model?
In recent evaluations of corporeality aiming at the deconstruction of the binaries
that have shaped the structure of Western thought some feminists are concerned
with the transgression of the body/mind dualism and in opposing reductionism
insist on the uncertainty and indeterminacy of bodies. Though they also recognize
that indeterminacy and transformability are not without limit, they insist that
bodies are processes, that bodies may constantly undergo interior change within
I suggest that in her rhizomic work Borderlans/La Frontera: The New Mestiza,
Gloria Anzaldúa presents a Deleuzian Body without Organs (BwO), that
is, "a crosssroads" (74). Not an empty body, "not at all the
opposite of the organs," but "a living body all the more alive and
teaming once it has blown apart the organism and its organization" (Deleuze
and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus 30). That is, a becoming and demanding
Body without Organs that disorganizes the generic cultural body and problematizes,
among others, materiality, knowledge, desire. If one is a woman, this model
of a body offers a chance of becoming 'something else' than the fixed notion
of woman, thus destabilizing the fixed patriarchal impositions and demands of
a feminine identity.
Hans-Joachim König (KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt)
The Painful Legacy of U.S. Hegemony
My paper will give a short description of the historical development of U.S.
hegemony in Latin America, which - despite of a fundamental rejection
of colonialism and imperialism since the 19th century - has affected Latin
America. Almost every Latin American state has experienced U.S. interventions
and therefore, an influence on its national development in one form or other:
as armed invasion, as diplomatic intrusions into its sovereignty, as domination
of important sectors of the national economy or even of the entire country,
and as a financial destabilization.
The circumstances in the United States and in Latin America which led to such
hegemony will be analysed as well as their results: the U.S. policy of hegemony
even tolerated dictatorial regimes and often obstructed Latin American experiments
of political and social reforms in order to carry through U.S. political or
economic interests. I will analyse the constant characteristics of relationships
between the U.S.A. and Latin America and describe some innovative elements which,
despite new issues, might be able to reduce the old Latin American resentments
against the U.S.A. and generate a true partnership.
Werner Kummer (U Bielefeld)
Hollywood in Havanna: American Movies and Cuban Popular Culture in
the Novels of Cabrera Infante
Pre-Batista culture in Havanna, as described in Cabrera Infante's novels, has
as one of its central ingredients the movie productions of Hollywood: types
of self-presentation, erotic fantasy, and the structuring of encounters, emotions
and plots are based on the favorite films of young people in Havanna. At the
same time, the movie house is an important meeting place for friends and a place
to start amorous adventures along the lines prefabricated in the films.
Cabrera Infante, as a film critic and founder of a cinéma d'art
in Havanna, has an excellent command of the history of film and uses it for
an interctultural view of the flows of popular culture between Hollywood and
Chris Lippard (U of Utah, Salt Lake City)
Imagining the United States: Northern Vistas in Latin American Cinema
This paper discusses the manner in which the United States, its people, language,
and culture, are presented in several films from Central and South America.
After a consideration of the need/desire for safety and material comfort examined
in El Norte (Gregory Nava, 1983), my focus is mainly on Bolivia. Films
such as Blood of the Condor (Jorge Sanjines, 1969) and Chuquiago
(Antonio Eguino, 1977) examine conflicting views of community and individuality
and suggest that state power in Bolivia is allied much more closely with U.S.
influence than with the country's majority Indian population.
Chuquiago indicates this partly through the desire for a linguistic
'progression' from Aymara to Spanish to English, and, like Sanjines's films,
shows the dangers of cultural loss for indigenous peoples who move into the
city. The relationship to the U.S., and U.S. influence in the country remains
significant in Bolivia today.
Johanne Mayr (U Bamberg)
Mirror Writing: Mexican-American and Turkish-German Mother Tongues
My discussion of Demetria Martinez's and Emine Sevgi Özdmar's novels both
by the titles of Mother Tongue juxtaposes works of a Mexican-American
and Turkish-German background. The analysis compares structures within the individual
texts as well as in Chicana and Turkish-German literature.
In spite of obvious cultural differences the novels appear to be mirror writing
from many angles of vision. Reflections on Mexican-American identity and language
are mirrored in Turkish-German reflections. The results are taken further when
the theoretical framework of one body of literature is applied to the other.
Reading the Turkish-German novel in the mirror of Chicana literary theory, Özdamar's
text emerges as an excellent example of how Chicana literary theory can be transferred
in basic ideas, and further, how concepts of Chicana theory can serve as a model
of a crosscultural identity formation.
If Chicana literary theory works in another cultural context, the relevance
of this theory as cultural mediator is given multiple credit. The fictional
and critical work by and about Chicanas could serve as seminal resource in defining
intercultural aspects of literature not only within the Americas but on an international
Marietta Messmer (U Göttingen)
Toward an Inter-American Literary Historiography?
Since the early nineteenth century, the nationalist discourse of US-American
literary historiography was instrumentalized to consolidate an Anglo-American
literary and cultural hegemony within the US. Even though the post-WWII turn
toward intra-American pluralism has seemingly challenged this historiographical
form of cultural homogenization, contemporary histories of "American"
literature for the most part still subscribe to an Anglo-American cultural dominance
by confining their discussions to literatures written in English, and/or to
writings produced within the US-American nation state.
Such historiographical resistance to more comprehensive explorations of multilingual
and inter-American cultural contact zones becomes particularly problematic in
the case of writers whose oeuvre crosses national, cultural, and linguistic
borders, especially writers who move within the borderland between the USA and
Focusing on the changing conceptualizations of the notion of "America(n)"
employed by twentieth-century histories of US-American literature, my paper
will trace the specific implications and consequences this has for the historiographical
constructions and representations of inter-American literary and cultural relations.
Ricardo Pérez Montfort (CIESAS/UNAM, Mexico City)
The Role of Folkloric Studies in the Making of National Stereotypes
in Latin America 1920-1970: The Cases of Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, and Mexico.
This paper examines how a great variety of studies on popular culture and folklore
incided in the creation of four national stereotypes between 1920 and 1970 in
Latin America: Argentina's Gaucho, Peru's Criollo, Venezuela's
Llanero and Mexico's Charro.
Aproaching the literary process by which many different elements are combined
to create what will be considered as "typical" or characteristic of
these four countries, this paper tries to find the common places of these national
stereotypes, as well as the usage of folk knowledge, popular culture, state
discourse, and mass media in the making of national identities.
Gabriele Pisarz-Ramírez (U Leipzig)
Reimagining America: Postnational Perspectives in Recent Chicano Texts
As Chicano/a literature has moved away from ethnic nationalism an increasing
number of authors shift their focus of interest from identity politics towards
a more profound critique of the ideological underpinnings of the nation state.
They address the boundaries and borders of (U.S.)"America" from transnational
and transcultural perspectives, destabilizing exceptionalist and homogenizing
constructions of the nation and producing what Donald Pease has termed "postnational
Ruben Martínez and Juan Felipe Herrera are two authors who, from different
locations and with different approaches, draw attention to the interconnectedness
of continental developments and the cultural ruptures within the US. While Martínez
envisions Mexican migrants as producers of a "postborder culture"
in the U.S. Southwest and considers national borders increasingly irrelevant,
Herrera, speaking from Mexico's southern border, contextualizes the upcoming
Chiapas revolt in US-Mexican relations and in a history of (neo)colonialism.
The paper discusses both authors' strategies of rewriting "America"
as well as the more general question if Chicano/a cultural production holds
a specific potential regarding postnational revisions of traditional concepts
of national identity.
Michael Porsche (U Paderborn)
Borderland Jeremiah: Charles Bowden
The American writer Charles Bowden is the author of a dozen books on the southwestern
states of the US and the northern states of Mexico. As a trained historian and
biologist and practising journalist of nearly three decades, Bowden has delved
deeper and deeper into his terrain to return with ever more urgent signs of
impending (manmade) ecological doom and passionate celebrations of the human
spirit. Over the years he has developed a magnificent stylistic range (influences
of Cormac McCarthy, Faulkner, Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson, Emerson, the Bible,
are felt on every page) while the tone of his books has become prophetic.
My paper investigates Bowden's contention that the region he describes from
changing perspectives (being alternately based in the states of Arizona and
Chihuahua) forms the back-ground for significant and violent changes in the
course of American (as the culmination of Western) Civilization. While Bowden
is convinced of the decline of Western Civilization he clings to the notion
that the region he explores still offers the possibility of transcendence, if
not redemption, to the individual.
Josef Raab (U Bielefeld)
Latinos and U.S. Television
The problematic relationship between U.S. Latinos and network television over
the past half century developed out of TV's use of an existing typology. Starting
with I Love Lucy and The Real McCoys, network television depicted
Latinos as entertainers, simpletons, or hot-blooded outsiders, ingraining such
stereotypes even more deeply in the American psyche. Representations of Hispanic
men as rogues and criminals and of Latinas as a dark seductresses appeared in
Gunsmoke and numerous other western and detective shows. Because of
the predominace of such portrayals and in view of the language situation, it
is not surprising that Univision and other Spanish-language channels drew large
audiences among U.S. Latinos, while Hispanic characters were all but absent
from the networks shows. Chico and the Manwas a rare exception in this regard.
With the growing political, social, and cultural presence of U.S. Latinos in
the 1980s, televised images also started to change. Despite the endurance of
typecasting, some successful network shows of the past two decades -
L.A. Law, NYPD Blue, and ER among them - often start out
with the established Latino typology in the background and then try to show
its deficiencies, attempting to present more nuanced images of U.S. Hispanics
and foregrounding educated, rational, and righteous Latinos. Stereotypes are
being called up in a process of trying to overcome them. Most recently, this
is the case in the PBS show American Family, which strives to decrease
the degree of Otherness of U.S. Latinos.
Stefan Rinke (Catholic U of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt)
Imagining the Yankee: Stereotypes,
Representations, and Realities in Chile
In the course of the 20th century Latin Americans have in increasing numbers
embarked on "interplanetary voyages" to the "land of the future"
in the North, the United States. If whether poor migrant worker or well-to-do
tourist they have travelled with a puzzling variety of information and conflicting
evaluations and perceptions about what they were to expect in that world. This
information was at the same time preconditioned by and transformed into images
that shaped the encounter and was an integral part of it. There was never one
unified image of the United States. How Latin Americans have perceived the U.S.
rather reminds of a kaleidoscope: images composed of multi-colored and randomly
mixed fragments of experiences, superficial knowledge, stereotypes and prejudice.
Some of the fragments are larger than the others and some of the colors are
brighter and exist in greater quantity. Moved by historial change they fall
into place in new and often surprising constellations. These fragments formed
what might be called a set of basic images about life in the United States,
its civilization, and the characteristics of the inhabitants themselves, the
In my paper, I will explore the ways in which people from a very distant corner
of the Americas, namely Chile, perceived the United States. I will first roughly
sketch the harsh realities of U.S. economic and political domination that began
in the first third of the 20th century. Using cartoons as a historical source
I will then demonstrate how a symbolic discourse about the 'Yankee' emerged
in this period and what stereotypes it reflected. Despite the constructions
of - often polar - differences a close examination of the representations
reveals that Chileans tried to make sense and explain the secret to success
of U.S. civilization in order to turn the knowledge into new and hybrid visions
of a possible development of the own nation.
Clara E. Rodríguez (Fordham U, New York)
U.S. Latinos: Census Realities vs. Media Distortions
The news media in the United States has been heralding the "changing face"
- or what Timemagazine first labeled the "browning of America"
- for more than two decades. Much of this change has been driven by the
natural growth of the Latino population in the United States and by immigration
from Latin America.
Yet, the changing "face" in the academic literature is generally described
in more diffuse ways. For example, the large growth in the population is generally
not especially attributed to Latinos but to more generalized patterns of immigration,
high birth rates among non-European-descended groups and intermarriage. Although
other groups are clearly involved in these changes, the significant role of
Latinos in driving these demographic shifts is glossed over. Also generally
absent is any reference to the histories of Latinos in the United States. However,
at the same time, in local area news there are occasional reports indicating
the growth of Hispanics in heretofore non-Hispanic areas, special reports about
Latinos, and the use of Latin American personal accounts or stories when discussing
In essence, Latinos continue to exhibit that curious attribute noted earlier
by Quiroga "of being noted, not quite completely ignored but not fully
seen or counted." Despite being very much at the center of demographic
changes in the United States, they and the work on them continues to be marginalized
in broader academic and policy discussions about change.
In the media, there is an interesting two-step at work. There is, on the one
hand, media attention given to a "Latin boom" and reference is generally
made to a handful of Latin stars, who have become household names in the music
world, e.g., Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, and Jennifer López. But when
we examine more carefully the everyday fare of film, television and the news,
we find that Latinos are rarely portrayed or employed and when they are present,
they are often in marginal, stereotyped roles or positions.
This paper will examine the major demographic shifts of the last two decades
that reflect the changing "face" of the United States. It will then
examine the major findings on the representation and portrayal of Latino characters
in contemporary films, on television, and in the news. I will then discuss the
implications of these changes and conclude with some recommendations.
Ricardo D. Salvatore (U Torcuato di Tella, Buenos Aires)
Building the Archives of Knowledge: Bibliographic Collection in the
U.S. about South America during the Age of Pan-Americanism
During the age of Pan-Americanism (1890-1940), U.S. universities started to
build impressive collections of "Latino-Americana." They collected
books, periodicals, government papers, and manuscripts relating to Latin America.
"South America" attracted special attention for, around the time of
the First World War, the sub-continent became, in the eyes of North American
businessmen, the new land of opportunity for commerce and investment. Central
to this new enterprise of accumulation of knowledge was the understanding of
the past. Collectors showed enormous interest in artifacts of ancient Andean
cultures, manuscripts of the early Spanish colonial period, and Spanish chronicles
of the Conquest. Apparently, there was little connection between the interests
of North American investors (in petroleum, railroads, tramways, meat-packing,
land, financial, and commercial services) and those of university archives and
libraries. But, as the earlier "Latin-Americanists" acknowledged,
the commercial penetration of "South America" required an understanding
of the region's culture, society and politics. And the keys to this undertanding
were to be found in the colonial period. In addition, collectors of "Latino-Americana"
drew a strong a recurrent parallel between the commercial conquest of South
America and the military and spiritual conquest carried out by the Spaniards
in the early sixteenth centurty. Thus, the very organization and constitution
of Latin American collections in the U.S. reveals the imperialist nature of
the enterprise of knowledge.
This paper deals with the history of the first collections of "Latino-Americana"
in the United States. Though important collections were located in research
universities (Harvard, Yale, Berkeley, Brown, etc.), the U.S. government, through
two key institutions (the Library of Congress and the Pan American Union), also
contributed to the endeavor of building strong Latin American or South American
collections. This paper will examine how these collections were organized, financed,
and used during this period and it will posit some general questions about the
role of these institutions of knowledge (libraries and archives) in defining
the field of "Latin/South American Studies."
Victoria Sullivan (St. Peter's College, Jersey City)
Depictions of the East Indian Immigrant Woman in Bharati Mukherjee's
Fiction: "Plump gold paisleys sparkle on my chest"
Born and raised in an affluent family in Calcutta, India, Bharati Mukherjee
has lived in North America for the past forty years and considers herself an
"American Writer." Her writing powerfully captures the world of Indian
immigrants, both men and women. No matter what the reason for their journey,
once in the US or Canada, her characters are forced to respond to a society
in many dramatic ways a great cultural distance from where they began. Their
encounters with the new world provoke recognizable varieties of transition,
acclimation and change.
Of course, during the thirty-five years over which Mukherhjee has been writing
her fiction, the role of the Indian immigrant in the US has also been changing - such
that, as American culture grows more hybrid itself, the experience of the Indian
becomes more common, less disorienting, and even a subject for humor.
This paper examines five recurring motifs that characterize the experiences
of her far-traveling female protagonists: 1) their Indian training in womanly
submission; 2) their tendency to experience utter and absolute breaks with the
old culture at some point in their narrative; 3) their finding themselves the
recipients of racist insults or demeaning misunderstandings; 4) their sense
of being caught, suspended between different cultural imperatives; and 5) their
growing pride in having taken the risks involved in immigration, exile, and
Gerald Vizenor (UC Berkeley)
Games of Truth: Native American Indian Singularities
"Everyday life contains many truth games," wrote John Forrester in
Truth Games: Lies, Money, and Psychoanalysis."From the sheer
diversity, resilience, and efficiency of the thousands of languages people use,
it is clear that language has very little to do with truth."
My essay and presentation consider several "truth games" in the politics
of memory and native traditions; the memorable tease and poses of singularity.
The theoretical ideas and philosophical concerns of my presentation bear on
the modernist simulations of "brand" cultures, scientism and the translation,
or transformation of native creation stories, "mother earth" and the
reversion of transcendental notions in the resistance to situation monotheism
and genetic research on manoomin,or wild rice, and the curious, renewable
romance of marvelous, literary natives in the recent motion picture Windtalkers.
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