This is another hip course I could give, at an advanced level, with a baby-level that would be a freshman seminar. SPANISH language writing would be the topic, we wouldn’t work on English language writing, or read a lot of Spanglish.
Algunos nombres: Elizabeth Acevedo (“The Poet X” se ha traducido al español), Gloria Anzaldúa, Herrison Chicas (Carolina del Norte, algunos poemas están en español), Juan Felipe Herrera, Martín Espada (a mí me gusta mucho el trabajo de este último).
Algunos más, todos con redes sociales que se pueden encontrar: Raquel Abend Van Dalen, Yosie Crespo, Oriette D’Angelo, Douglas Gómez Barrueta, Kelly M. Grandal, Legna Rodríguez Iglesias, Román Luján, Urayoán Noel, Carlos Pintado, Keila Vall de la Ville.
Here’s a good list of things people undertaking research, need and should do:
1. have knowledge of what a research question is;
2. have basic subject knowledge in a chosen topic area, e.g., its major research questions;
3. develop a capacity for being interested in questions where the answer is nonobvious;
4. have the ability to inquire into one’s own core interests;
5. develop the project topic research question (with self-reflexivity and metacognition);
6. identify a thesis or hypothesis about the topic (one that is interesting and nonobvious);
7. plan the investigation (identify steps and continually revise methods);
8. organize research (including recording and sorting of conflicting information);
9. interpret research results (including results that are contradictory, disorganized, unsanctioned, or anomalous);
10. develop one’s analysis and narrative into a coherent narrative (gaps included);
11. publicly or socially present findings and respond to criticism;
12. have the ability to reformulate conclusions and narrative in response to new information and contexts; and
13. have the ability to fight opposition, to develop within institutions, and to negotiate with society.
If I think it should be a junior level course, it should be senior / early graduate. This one would be on monuments. Each monument studied would lead to the study of many related things, and one would study their processes of fetichization (I have not worked this out very well yet). Some of the monuments are musical, and some are literary.
1/ Macchu Picchu, study of, fetichization of, nature of, implications of, history of; here we will also study Cusco.
2/ Martí, “Nuestra América.”
5/ Plaza de Mayo.
6/ Cuban son.
8/ 100 años de soledad.
What else, or is this enough?
We don’t know, of course, if anyone believes in the common good, or the public good any more, but here are some fragmentary notes from a conversation we had.
1. We should talk much more about research. In class. College has to become more interesting – we cannot allow it to be further redefined as rote credentialing. We need research at lower levels.
2. We need a description of the “academy” from an academic point of view. Everyone else is saying what college should be but what do we say?
3. If the university is a public good, it should be supported by public revenues – not special interests.
4. As a public good, the university has non-pecuniary benefits, and these have value even if it is not measured in gold.
5. The liberal arts – intellectual discipline, intellectual agenda, sets intellectual agendas.
…de Mello e Souza is our topic today. On the theory of getting rid of one book, binder, or at least one file folder each day, no matter how good it is, I am getting rid of a binder of xeroxes of works by him (if I can — right now, the cat is sitting on it). I have intellectual and sentimental reasons to have it, but it has to go.
In his Literatura e sociedade there is an important 1950 article “Literatura e cultura de 1900 a 1945,” which also appeared in Spanish in the 1991 anthology of Cândido, Crítica radical (Ayacucho). It says the dialectic of localism and cosmopolitanism is key.
There is in that last volume the 1958 introduction to Formação da literatura brasileira, and a discussion of Raízes do Brasil … and a translation of “Literatura e subdesenvolvimento.” I’ve also got a copy of his book on Sílvio Romero.
There is new work out now by Cândido (who only died in 2017), and new work on him too, and I am sure I do not need these photocopies since the texts are available, so they are going.
Yet I remember voices like his, and days spent reading this kind of thing instead of bureaucratic things, legal things or commercial educational products … and I miss the humanities then, and the gentle and educated voices I used to hear, and the people I used to know.
(How then to listen now is of course the practical question here, but I am more interested in the last line of that last paragraph as statement.)
I would like to read more of César Aira, and I would like to read this book. “Politics … involves struggle against the scandalous inequality of human life and thus can never be reduced to mere governance.”
(What is happening to us here is political and ideological, and cannot be solved by mere governance although this is also important — we need governance but must see that the problem goes beyond this.)
I am also traumatized. I am not like this person (graduate school was not my trauma)
(I am putting myself in a program of trauma treatment, now that I see what the landscape is. It involves renouncing self-doubt, remembering that authorities are paper tigers, and keeping in mind that I can buy an annuity and escape.)
What am I? An intellectual, an artist and an activist.
(I think I will have microdermabrasion, yoga and shiatsu massage. In my self-directed trauma treatment I will remember to put all my priorities first, regardless of any crises others may have.)
Postone is in the category of people I should have read, and would like to read.