Monthly Archives: October 2019


In the office, I will find the notes on the transnational illumination I had the other day.

In the meantime, here we have Vilashini Cooppan in a very old (2000) article on the transnational study of race and nation, in this book. I had kept it, should I still? is the question. It is part of my thesis that race can be studied transnationally (an issue I would not question, or that I would not have a complex about, were it not for the experiences I had in Brazil). Quand même.

She is ill at ease with the term postcolonial, with its watchwords heterogeneity, difference, alterit7y, and hybridity. “Postcoloial studies, as several of its most incisive critics have noted, has compressed the differences of other peoples’ history on a methodological level while it has simultaneously asserted and celebrated those differences on a theoretical and discursive level.” (2) THIS IS PART OF MY ANZALDUA PROBLEM.

Cooppan thinks the categories race and nation “have become dangerously peripheral to what many would see as the ‘real’ work of [postcolonial studies].” (7) They seem too “essentialist” and too dependent on the idea of authenticity. But Cooppan thinks we need these terms and does not think they mean returning to fixity over the more effervescent post-colonial hybridity (paraphrasing 8). DECOLONIAL IS A DERIVATIVE OF POSTCOLONIAL AND IT HAS SOME OF THOSE PROBLEMS.

Tim Brennan (At Home in the World) and Aijaz Ahmad have criticized the notion, popularized by Rushdie and Bhabha, of an intercultural hybridity crystallized in the figure of the cosmopolitan migrant because it dismisses the penetration of capital, the proliferation of ethnic enclaves, and the consolidation of the nation-state form; Cooppan talks about the fact that racialized inequality has been increasing while the celebration of hybridity grows (Shohat has pointed out that it is the “palatable”, assimilable, pastoral version of difference. Race and nation smack of armed resistance, strategic political identification, and these are NOT the preferred post-colonialisms … and that is a problem.

The article goes on, but I am stopping here.



Filed under Uncategorized

A course on poetry sung

The Ring of Words, the introduction and the section on Spain.

Jarchas, are there good recordings?
Cid, Libro de Buen Amor, Romancero, what recordings are there?
Songs in Lope; recordings of Góngora and Quevedo
Are there recordings of 18th/19th century uses of song in poetry?
Rosalía de Castro, décimas de todas las edades
García Lorca, La argentinita
Songs with Miguel Hernández
Civil War?
Germaine Montero
Paco Ibáñez
Víctor Jara, Lluís Llach, Joaquín Sabina, Silvio Rodríguez, more
Rock, rap

Necesito ayuda.



Filed under Poetry, Questions, Songs, Teaching, Working

Clarissa’s psychological health challenge

8- Luxury

7- Water

6- Serious Baltic sauna

5- Uncluttering the mind

4 – Grounding object

3 – Deep breathing

2 – Concentrating on pleasant sensations

1 – Experiencing the end of sensory experiences

While doing these things you follow a Mediterranean diet and make your bed every morning.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A course on Mexican literature

I was going to do 20th and 21st centuries only, although my colleague thinks I could give snippets of things like the Periquillo sarniento. I’m not convinced and I have now come upon ISP’s dissertation, which turns out to have covered 1917 to 2000. It resembles my idea in some ways. My list had:

[Azuela Los de abajo and pieces of Reed’s Insurgent Mexico, and corridos]
Vasconcelos LRC
Usigli El gesticulador
Rulfo Nos han dado la tierra
Castellanos Balún Canán
Pacheco Las batallas en el desierto
Poniatowska Terremoto
Berman Entre Villa y una mujer desnuda
Herrera La transmigración de los cuerpos [and narcocorridos]

Of course this leaves out Fuentes (La frontera de cristal, for instance, or earlier work), Paz (and Posdata talks about Tlatelolco), Revueltas, Mastretta, and many more — including Daniel Sada who I’d really like to read.

I could call the course SUAVE PATRIA (López Velarde) and it would be a BOLSHEVIK SUPER-POEM (Maples Arce).


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

That darned presentation, again

Here is a very good article critiquing contact theory.

Here is Martí on New York.

Here is Posternak.

Lagniappe: Here is a book on Lorca I should get from ILL. Here is a review of it.

In my paper: Sommer is heavily under the influence of happy mestizaje theory (which has the flaws of contact theory, inter alia). 90s multiculturalism in US promoted both of these and in that way echoed some of Bolívar and Martí, or some famous phrases from them at least. But the actual 19th century is more complex and contradictory, less triumphant, than Sommer’s narrative suggests. These points have been made already but it is worth gathering them together.

This paper is on the dysfunctional family (cf. the families in crisis thesis) — families that disappear the nation and do not consolidate it.

* * * I am interested because of the way race works, novels working as strategies to contain democracy and maintain hierarchies [work this out, I had such a brilliant, concise formulation while washing dishes last night and I did not write it down]. Was I thinking about this paper or my other one, when I was washing dishes? * * *

* * * At Angola: everyone was black visiting prisoners on this former plantation, and we were watching cowboys and Indians on the tv, and I thought, what a perfect colonial scene; we have not left the late 19th century, US army subjugating new lands while the people they half liberated, still incarcerated, look on as a kind of fellow American * * *

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

That class

As lagniappe, let’s look at the MLA 2007 report on FL curricula.

Students say: less is more. If we all watched the same series, we could all talk about it and change groups. The films are too much in conjunction with the series. And we may need more structured grammar review.

More to come on this.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Agenda for that January meeting

1. Amendments to Constitution, per letter from B.T. (Post restructuring — to fit with idea of sections, address relationship between chapters including national chapter, conference, and section.)

2. Discussion of what Conference can do. (Powers of conference, why we need a functioning one.) One is make sure all chapters, and ideally Senates, try to get handbooks in line with AAUP principles. Another is inspire people to get on board with campaigns like the anti-privatization one, which is important.

3. Nominating committee.

4. Decision on date for April meeting.

5. RESOLUTION and more — my earlier list was:

– reports from chapters, chapter leaders meet each other, discussion of organizing statewide

– the resolution as organizing tool [individuals need to be empowered to use it this way, and there may need to be a coordinating committee; the $66 fix is a California campaign on state funding and it may have concepts and language that are useful to us]

– Committee A liaisons, on campuses without chapters

– Committee A training opportunities

– grant and other funding opportunities through the conference

– 2020 summer institute scholarships

– the summer national meeting, processes for credentialing representatives, creation of sections

6. Anti-privatization campaign and possible visit of Monica Owens; this is a good project to undertake


1 Comment

Filed under Movement


We’ve now sent two people to the Institute who, rather than gain knowledge, inspiration and skills, came back disillusioned about governance; credentialed a delegate to the national meeting (and given financial support to him for travel) who has been dismissed from his university and will thus not continue as a strong member of the organization; and had a person elected to national leadership who then resigned.

These things happened because our manner of outreach has meant those were the volunteers we had. We need another mode of outreach, and a different crowd.


Leave a comment

Filed under Working