Negotiating Alternative Narratives of Violence in Contemporary Mexico

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Center for Latin American Studies
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Negotiating Alternative Narratives of Violence in Contemporary Mexico

Title: “Me gustaría que este libro no existiera”: Negotiating Alternative Narratives of Violence in Contemporary Mexico

Book Presentation Abstract: In this talk, Dr. Samuelson will explore some conceptual and artistic responses to the spectaclization, commercialization and politicization of violence in Mexico since 2006. Works such as Cristina Rivera Garza’s essays and fiction, Balam Rodrigo’s Libro centroamericano de los muertos, and Sara Uribe’s Antígona González offer alternative modes of engagement with the most difficult of contemporary realities. Thinking alongside these works can help us understand how writers are attempting to respond both ethically and aesthetically to the horror, grief and impunity occasioned by the ongoing narco-war in Mexico, as well as offering the opportunity to think through larger questions about the role of contemporary literature in the context of atrocity.

Biography: Dr. Cheyla Samuelson writes on the narrative and poetry of contemporary Mexico, and is an associate professor of Spanish in World Languages and Literatures at San José State University. Her recent publications include an article on Valeria Luiselli and an interview with Mexican writer Rosa Beltrán. She is currently working on an edited volume related to the subject of this talk, and a book based on her dissertation on the narrative of Cristina Rivera Garza. She is a member of the UC Mexicanistas Research Association.

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NOTE: Please feel free to send your questions in the Youtube livestream comments section and we will read them to Prof. Samuelson.