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Dr. Emilio Escalante

March 20, 2012 
11 a.m. Room 304

Dr. Emilio De Valle Escalante, The Discursive Economy of the Maya Movement in Guatemala

In this presentation Dr. De Valle Escalante analyzes contemporary Maya textual production and its role in the process of indigenous cultural, linguistic and political affirmation in Guatemala.  He focuses on the Maya cultural rights movement by analyzing the discursive constructions of the Maya subject developed by Gaspar Pedro González, Víctor Montejo and Demetrio Cojtí. By exploring the indigenous cultural identity these authors construct in their texts, he intends to show how the Maya subject these authors imagine rests on implicit assumptions of fixed identities that carry the danger of recycling the colonialism and ethnocentricism they criticize.  He argues that despite the fact that the Maya cultural rights tendency affirms a Maya locus of enunciation, indigenous people’s dignity, and new visions of the world that help redefine the Guatemalan nation-state as multicultural, their proposals empower certain indigenous subjects while obscure and marginalize the agency of others whose experiences of resistance and self-affirmation operate in urban, transnational and globalized settings. 

A reception will follow.

Dr. Emilio De Valle Escalante is an Assistant Professor of Spanish in the Department of Romance Languages & Literatures, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Dr. Ana Figueroa

Dr. Ana Figueroa, "From Romance to Reality: the Images of the Latin American Male in the United States"  

The Cuban Revolution of 1959 created an alternative way of performance masculinity in Latin America by helping to inspire a new, more politically-engaged generation of men who came of age in the 1960s and attempted to put their social problems or their idealistic construction of society in dialogue with the pressing social-justice issues of the day. She continues that the new self that was constructed followed in the steps and imagery of Che Guevara, the French existentialists, and the American hippies not only in their political ideals but also in physical appearance and habits: long hair, beard, dark clothes, and cigarettes. Figueroa's study is centered on how this "ideal male construction" was repeated in the main characters of the 1960s novels known as "New Narrative of Latin American."

"I will argue that writers such as the Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Julio Cortazar, Alejo Carpentier, and Mario Vargas Llosa represented masculinity in their works in terms of theatrical and rhetorical performances," says Figueroa. "They are theatrical in the sense that the male characters keep staging themselves in competitive displays; rhetorical in the sense that the characters, and the very narrative form of the works in which they appear, render masculinity a kind of persuasive argument that readers can and should debate. This movement of ideas creates the stereotypes of the Latin American male." 

A reception will follow.

Dr. Ana Figueroa holds a doctorate in Latin American Literature from Rutgers University. She is the author and/or co-author of numerous books and articles on the topic of Latin American and Hispanic literature. Dr. Ana Figueroa is an Assistant Professor of Spanish, at Penn State Lehigh Valley

Dr. Belen Rodriquez Mourelo

April 12, 2012
11 a.m.

Dr. Belen Rodriguez Mourelo, “Encounters in Exile, Themes in the Narrative of the Cuban Diaspora”

Dr. Rodriguez Mourelo’s research interests focus on the experience of being a minority and how this experience is expressed in literature. Her doctoral thesis analyzed African American autobiography, and her scholarly work evolved toward other groups, such as Afro Hispanics, in general, and Cubans in particular -- especially Cuban writers in exile. 

A reception will follow.

Dr. Belen Rodriguez Mourelo is an Associate Professor of Spanish at Penn State Berks and head of the Division of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences


Book Cover of Raising Brooklyn

April 19, 2012
11 a.m.

Dr. Tamara Mose Brown, “RAISING BROOKLYN: Nannies, Childcare, and Caribbeans Creating Community”

Stroll through any public park in Brooklyn on a weekday afternoon and you will see black women with white children at every turn. Many of these women are of Caribbean descent, and they have long been a crucial component of New York’s economy, providing childcare for white middle- and upper-middleclass families. Raising Brooklyn offers an in-depth look at the daily lives of these childcare providers, examining the important roles they play in the families whose children they help to raise. Tamara Mose Brown spent three years immersed in these Brooklyn communities: in public parks, public libraries, and living as a fellow resident among their employers, and her intimate tour of the public spaces of gentrified Brooklyn deepens our understanding of how these women use their collective lives to combat the isolation felt during the workday as a domestic worker. 

A reception will follow.   

Dr. Tamara Mose Brown is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College.