Mar 16

Bildner Center: 21st Century Mexican Art and Literature

21st Century Mexican Art and Literature


“Filming Globalization: Mexico and the World in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s ‘Babel’”
Juan E. De Castro, Eugene Lang College
Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Babel has become a privileged text in discussions about globalization and culture. In addition to reviewing some of the more global aspects illustrated by the film, this presentation attempts to situate the film within the context of US and Mexican cultural and political interactions. By inscribing Mexico’s borderlands within the world, Babel marks González Iñárritu’s look at his home culture and reality before becoming, with Birdman and The Revenant, one of the most honored Hollywood filmmakers.“Contemporary Art and Social Writing”
Pablo Helguera, visual artist, NYC

“‘Caída libre’ by Martha Cerda: New York in Fragments”
Diana P. Valencia, University of Saint Joseph
This presentation explores some discourse strategies employed in this novella to re-articulate not only the role of fate in human destiny but also ruling fiction as a random game of possibilities. Cerda´s work wisely intermingles fragments of truth and imagination in order to deconstruct the notion of discourse as a totality – and life as a complete universe of meaning. Irony, parody, fragments of the self, or the self in fragments are fresh ways of retelling a story. Cerda´s literary strategies made of her work a cutting edge fiction emblematic of 21st Century Mexican literature.

Moderator: Araceli Tinajero, City College of New York (CUNY)


About the presenters

Juan E. De Castro is an Associate Professor in Literary Studies at Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts, where he teaches courses in Latin American and Latina literatures. He has published articles in MLN, Latin American Research Review, and Aztlan, among other journals. He has edited several books, including Critical Insights: Mario Vargas Llosa (2014) and (with Nicholas Birns) Roberto Bolaño as World Literature (forthcoming). He is the author of three books, the most recent of which is Mario Vargas Llosa: Public Intellectual in Neoliberal Latin America (2011).

Pablo Helguera is a visual artist living in New York. Helguera often focuses on history, pedagogy, sociolinguistics and anthropology in formats such as lectures, museum displays, performance and written fiction. His project The School of Panamerican Unrest (2003-2011), an early example of pedagogically-focused socially engaged art, consisted in a nomadic think-tank, physically crossed the continent by car from Anchorage to Tierra del Fuego. He has exhibited widely internationally. His is author of several other books including An Atlas of Commonplaces: A Notebook for Artists (2015), Art Scenes: The Social Scripts of the Art World (2012), Education for Socially Engaged Art (2011), a primer for social practice, What in the World (2010), Theatrum Anatomicum (and other performance lectures) (2009),a book on the sociology of contemporary art, and The Pablo Helguera Manual of Contemporary Art Style (2007).

Diana P. Valencia (Ph.D., Stony Brook) is Professor of Spanish/Chair, Department of Culture, Arts and Languages at the University of Saint Joseph, Connecticut. She is the author of Octavio Paz, una mirada al nuevo milenio: Ensayos en torno a la modernidad (Gobierno del Estado de México, 2010). This research work was awarded an Honorary Mention in the National Fine Arts Literary Essay Prize, José Revueltas (CONACUTA, 2009.) Dr. Valencia translated into Spanish, the poems, Hiding in Other People´s Houses by Dory Katz (La Luciérnaga Editores, Guadalajara, 1999). She has published extensively on Latin American poetry as well as Mexican women authors. Her work, La literatura de mujeres en Jalisco: Martha Cerda, is included in De la Catedral al Rascacielos (CUNY/ALDEU) which was awarded best essay book by the International Association of Writers in Chicago in 1999. Dr. Valencia also presented the premiere edition of Caída libre by Martha Cerda at the FIL Guadalajara, 2011.

Araceli Tinajero is Professor of Spanish at The Graduate Center and City College of New York, CUNY. She is the author of Orientalismo en el modernismo hispanoamericanoEl lector de tabaquería (Eng. El Lector: A History of the Cigar Factory Reader); and Kokoro, una mexicana en Japón. Professor Tinajero is the editor of Cultura y letras cubanas en el siglo XXI; Exilio y cosmopolitismo en el arte y la literatura hispánica (2013) and Orientalisms of the Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian World (2014).

Reservations for this event are encouraged. Email bildner [at] gc.cuny.edu. Visit the Bildner Center page for more information.

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