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The coloniality of power

Here we have a copy of that Mignolo journal issue/book our library does not have. There’s an article by Sanjinés on the nation and it explains why the B. Anderson model does not work. And an article by J.D. Saldívar on Anzaldúa that thinks, as I have claimed to do, that what she does with language is one of the most effective aspects of her project in Borderlands/La Frontera. And there is more. I’d like to be reading the paper book, but this is nice to have.

Decoloniality is thinking from the other side. But not from a romanticized other side. This book thinks about some of the things I do.

The mestizo is a colonial formation and that is why the mixture with the colonizer is the one that counts–and why you get the mestizo-criollo class. Does this mean that the mestizo, ultimately, cannot be subaltern? That the povo, even if also mixed, is not mestizo? Somebody must have worked this out. Who?

Axé.

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Mestizaje and deculturation

Lomnitz-Adler talks about mestizaje and, or as deculturation. It’s not a place of exuberance but of loss. Is why the mestizaje fans spend so much time on healing?

Titles:

Original: Decentered discourse? Problematizing the “Borderlands”

Next: Rereading Borderlands: Las márgenes de Gloria Anzaldúa

Then: Transnational Borderlands? Las márgenes de Gloria Anzaldúa

Then: Border trouble? Intersectionality in Gloria Anzaldúa

AND there were various other possibilities in between. “The problem with borders and borderlands: intersectionality in GA;” “Dancing at the threshold: interesectionality in GA;” more.

Axé.

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Más y más mestizos

From March 2017:

“…mestizo and mestizaje…are doubly hybrid. On the one hand they house an empirical hybridity, built upon eighteenth and nineteenth century racial taxonomies and according to which ‘mestizos’ are non-indigenous individuals, the result of biological or cultural mixtures. Yet, mestizos’ genealogy starts earlier, when ‘mixture’ denoted transgression of the rule of faith, and its statutes of purity. Within this taxonomic regime mestizos could be, at the same time, indigenous. Apparently dominant, racial theories sustained by scientific knowledge mixed with, (rather than cancel) previous faith based racial taxonomies. ‘Mestizo’ thus houses a conceptual hybridity – the mixture of two classificatory regimes – which reveals subordinate alternatives for mestizo subject positions, including forms of indigeneity.”
—de la Cadena 2005

Y sí, and that is what the talk the other day did not address, and it is key for my piece on Isaacs: there is racial and religious mestizaje that stand in for each other. THIS is a good insight, I do think. (About mestizaje itself, the other way in which the word or concept “means in two accents” is that it is deployed in both oppressive and utopian or liberating ways.)

Also: Kraniauskas, hybridity and traces of capital, and that article on comparative hybridities.

Axé.

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La bibliothèque

I have to get the things I said I would, and López Velarde, and the Anzaldúa book I don’t have, and that’s there. I ordered the other one, and might donate it to the library. I’ll see about the Thomas Ward article (Gloria Anzaldúa y la lucha fronteriza).

I’m keeping in mind this manifesto on G.A. and healing and also the books that seem to have ended up in my Amazon carrito and not on a library list. I’ll keep the Saldívar-Hull introduction to the 1999 Borderlands in mind — the border subject is anyone, it says almost literally. I’m keeping in mind Kraniauskas on hybridity, and his references.

There is also the Crítica de la razón andina AND the critiques of postcolonial and ALSO of decolonial reason.  And there are the books I have hiding in my nascent electronic bookshelves, in Apple and Google.

And those e-shelves are probably where I should put the books I keep on Amazon wishlists. And it does not seem I will ever really use Jabrefs  or Zotero, although I know they are cool — these things remain to be seen.

I need Unzueta’s book, and I need to check out, for teaching, the anthology Spanish American Thought and Culture ed. by Jorge Aguilar Mora, Josefa Salmón, y Barbara C. Ewell.

Axé.

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World literature, cosmopolitanism, globality

This book is open access and I am in love with that.

And I’ve got a co-translator now for that project, a powerful one, and a press says they’ll take the book. We have not yet seen the contract, but I suppose we will get one.

I got really mad at the university and envious of big professors who are reading books, so I decided I would ignore everything and read some books, too.

Down with drudgery.

Axé.

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An earlier work plan

(According to Reeducation, your baseline should be that you are too unhappy to function and your goal should be to function minimally nonetheless, or attain feelings of happiness, just for the day. Before Reeducation I did not think a great deal about happiness, although I was happy most of the time. If your baseline is that you just don’t worry about these things, you are feeling how you are feeling, or perhaps you aren’t questioning yourself so you are comfortable, then you can just do things.)

So I am to: finish the da Silva paper and write a new da Silva abstract. Then write the Sommer paper. Then finish the Anzaldúa paper. Then, within the year, resubmit Pedro’s poems and prepare and submit the Moro — if that press ever has a reading period, that is; otherwise, it may become important to find another. Even White Pine.

Da Silva. Let us start warming back to this topic by reading on her in review essays. I’ve got so many notes of my own already, but we will start with Benito Cao and Greg McCarthy, just so that I will de-intimidate myself. Some reasons I am interested in Da Silva: it’s a global theory, it explains why hybridity theory is part of racism, it takes gender into account, and it addresses what I’ve called “evoke and elide.”

Cao also talks about Telles; note that Portocarrero says the same of mestizaje and racismo (which is why it is suprising to see Anzaldúa still talking about mestizaje as a solution to racism):

In essence, Telles unpacks the apparent paradox of the coexistence of racism and hybridity by revealing how racial inclusion (produced by hybridity) and racialexclusion (produced by racism) coexist and complement each other in Brazil. Indeed, hybridity is not antithetical to racism as popular belief and ‘common sense’ might suggest. Instead, hybridity is the way racism operates in Brazil. Hybridity is the Brazilian contribution to the ‘global idea of race’ unearthed by the archaeological work of Denise Ferreira da Silva.

Cao on the chapter “Tropical Democracy”:

Da Silva offers a critical genealogy of the idea of race and of the emergence of European man as a deeply racial/ised subject. She reveals how European man came to see himself as the transcendental Subject of History, the carrier of the Spirit of Humanity, of (Universal) Reason, whilst seeing non-Europeans as the exterior and inferior Objects of History or peoples without history, to borrow from Eric Wolf (1982). This deeply racially inscribed subject, European man, used skin colour as the key to determine who could and could not be civilised, categorising and determining the fate of peoples encountered in the five centuries of exploration and imperial expansion across the globe. The result was often the (re)creation of a new political formation, the nation-state, deeply inflected by racial discourses, as was the case of Brazil. The configuration of race was encrypted in Brazilian identity through miscegenation, namely the inter-mingling of Indians, Europeans, and Africans. However, as da Silva notes, the process (and representation) of miscegenation was driven primarily by the (sexual) desires of European man, projected onto the bodies (racially inscribed as red and black, respectively) of Indian and African women. Thus, the so-called racial democracy would be more aptly described as a racist (and patriarchal) hierarchy, with Luso-Brazilian men at the top and Afro-Brazilian women at the bottom. This is a seemingly straight-forward conclusion, but da Silva offers an insightful genealogical analysis of how that hierarchy was formulated and came to be seen as the natural state of (racial) affairs in Brazil. In particular, she provides a philosophical account of how gender and sexual desire were crucial in the formation and formulation of the myth of racial democracy. She examines statements deployed between the 1880s and the 1930s to show how miscegenation was formulated using <strong>‘the logic of obliteration’, a logic designed to engulf and ultimately destroy the Other,</strong> producing the Brazilian national subject as a transparent ‘I’. Miscegenation was rewritten as ‘‘an eschatological signifier’’ that would result not in the ‘‘degeneration’’ of the European but in <strong>the obliteration of the Indian and the African from Brazilian bodies and minds’</strong> (p. 238). Crucially, she notes how in this formulation of race and nation ‘the productive power, the‘‘inner force’’, belongs to the Portuguese because their ‘‘inclination’’ to sexual intimacy produces the slightly tanned Brazilian subject’ (p. 244). In essence, da Silva reveals the workings of miscegenation as ‘a process of productive violence’, a racialised and gendered process that produces a ‘slightly (tanned) transparent subject’: the Brazilian. This arguably genocidal violence that underpins the articulation of miscegenation in Brazil had been already exposed and denounced, notably by Abdias do Nascimento in <em>O Genocídio do Negro Brasileiro</em> (1978), but da Silva’s analysis is the first systematic and philosophical articulation of this argument available in English. Given the mystique of Brazilian hybridity (especially outside of Brazil), this chapter is a must read for anyone interested in matters of race in Brazil, and for anyone interested in the intricacies of miscegenation in the construction of national identities.

In the meantime, MURPHY’s run-down is good and key is that da Silva is following Foucault, so perhaps what one may not like about Foucault is also in da Silva.

Re Anzaldúa: the proposal of hybridity as solution if you are familiar with the relationship between mestizaje and racism. To whom is Anzaldúa speaking, and where is she speaking from ? It is the US side of the border. She’s resisting the Anglophone monolith, she’s the difference within, THIS is the interesting key to her (cf. the conversation on Goethe’s Yiddish background, and so on). So: the minor voice, what goes against the grain . . .

Back to Da Silva and the modernity thesis. Of course Dussell has pointed out the colonialist tropes in Hegel, etc., with juicy quotations.

Greg McCarthy’s summary of Da Silva is better than mine, for its concision. <em>Note that Da Silva can help with Anzaldúa too.</em>

My thesis for paper #1 is that the evoke-and-elide movement in the 19th century novels is enacting or dramatizing the move Da Silva describes (the engulfment); <em>there is no way out</em> in the modern paradigm. Moving on to Anzaldúa: it is possible that she (and decoloniality generally) are trying to be the resistance to this, the path out of it. The question becomes how well does this theory or does Anzaldúa in particular do it.

We shall see.

<em>Axé.</em>

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Transnational

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.

Axé.

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