Sunday, September 22, 2019

What is Mextasy!? An Introduction to the Pop-Up "Circus of Desmadres" -- A Traveling Exhibition Coming Soon to a Gallery, Museum, or University Near You!

Mextasy: Seductive Hallucinations of Latina/o Mannequins Prowling the American Unconscious is a traveling pop-up or gallery-based art show/exhibit based on the work of William "Memo" Nericcio and Guillermo Nericcio García. The traveling exhibition was originally curated by Leticia Gómez Franco for Casa Familiar, San Ysidro, California, and Rachel Freyman Brown, South Texas College, McAllen, Texas. Upcoming shows are at Iowa State University and the Nepantla Cultural Arts Center, Seattle, Washington. Its most recent shows were at Northwestern University, Wabash College, California State University, San Bernardino, and Franklin & Marshall College.

Mextasy both reflects on and expands upon Nericcio's 2007 American Library Association award-winning book with UT Press, Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of the Mexican in America. In addition to racist artifacts from American mass culture (the bread and butter of Uncle Sam's unconscious and the backstory for the resurgence in anti-Mexican, anti-Latina/o peoples presently), the show also features works that is "xicanosmotic," that is, works by Mexican-American artists where the delicious fusion of the Mexican/US borderlands/frontera is writ large as in the deliriously delicious artistic tracings of Raul Gonzalez IIIPerry Vasquez, Rafaella Suarez, and Izel Vargas.

Visitors to this page interested in having MEXTASY invade their local gallery/university of choice should contact us here.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Laredo and Deconstruction: Roland Barthes, Mojado!

I just ran across one of my publications--a photographic deconstruction of my hometown of Laredo, Texas--available as a preview on Google Books. It sports one of my longest titles (and that's saying a lot as most of my titles are huge, annoying my editors and typesetters to no end over the years!). 

It's called “Roland Barthes, Mojado, in Brownface: Chisme-laced Snapshots Documenting the Preposterous and Fact-laced Claim That the Postmodern Was Born along the Borders of the Río Grande River, " and appears in Performing the US Latina and Latino Borderlands, edited by Arturo J. Aldama, Chela Sandoval, and Peter Garcia.

Apple's Safari app sometimes has a hard time parsing Google's code--if the essay does not appear below, go here to see it.


Friday, July 26, 2019

Preparations Full Steam Ahead for the Iowa State #Mextasy Pop-Up Exhibition and Lecture--Part of Their U.S. Latino/a Studies 25 Year Anniversary Symposium -- Saturday, September 28, 2019. Sun Room, Memorial Union

Preparations Full Steam Ahead for the Iowa State #Mextasy Pop-Up Exhibition and Lecture--Part of Their U.S. Latino/a Studies 25 Year Anniversary Symposium -- Saturday, September 28, 2019. Sun Room, Memorial Union

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Jewish Solidarity Against Latina/o Victimization/Oppression by ICE: UPDATES via Twitter

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Test Posting: Publications by William Nericcio

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Thursday, May 16, 2019

#repost from ||| My Latest Piece for Joshua Glenn's Amazing HILOBROW.COM site on Gilbert Hernandez, Errata Stigmata, Love and Rockets, and Ocular Ontology now LIVE!

Really excited that my new piece for the #awesome online mag HILOBROW.COM has gone live! See it here: . . . OR . . . keep reading for the longer (unsnipped by Hilobrow editor/magician Joshua Glenn's devilish pruners) director's cut:

Ghost in the Mirror
Gilbert Hernandez's Errata 
Stigmata Revisited
William A. Nericcio 
16 May 2019

Can it ever be written that a comic book panel, or a series of them, changed the career of an English Professor?   

Mind you, please delete the image of a be-tweeded, bearded, white man with leather patched elbows, pipe, and avuncular grin. I am a down and dirty creature of the U.S./Mexican border, and while not quite “street” I am a little scruffier than your average Ivory Tower dandy gringo.

And I am mad about comics—all comics! Richie Rich, Little Audrey, Sad Sack, the Silver Surfer, Betty and Veronica …. Don’t get me started on Betty and Veronica.

As with all images on this posting, click to enlarge!

But it is the comic I pick up in 1985—the one with Gilbert Hernandez’s “Tears from Heaven: The Life and Times of Errata Stigmata” that breaks my mind, or scars my synapses, or wounds my ocular ontological core. 

Errata, a young girl growing up in a fictional Central American town called Palomar (think Mayberry with sex, drugs, and aliens), witnesses the stabbing murder of her parents by a serial killer named Tomaso (we don’t know this in 1985—I would argue that Beto, aka Gilbert, doesn’t know this in 1985, or has not dreamed it up yet).

In that instant, in that witnessing, everything goes to pot, and her destiny is sealed.  She grows up as a precocious young adolescent being raised by a Jewish-American uncle and utterly abusive aunt, Zephie, in the United States.

The result of her murder-filled witnessing?

She suffers from the stigmata, hence her name, that is, she bleeds from the sites associated with the crucifixion of Jesus.

Jesus Christ!

In the panels here, lifted from the original comic, Hernandez focuses (pardon the pun) on the connection between seeing and being: the ocular and the existential.

In the last panel, the one I have dreams about, a dislocated, disembodied eye explodes with viscera across a mutantly giant television screen with Errata mutely witnessing.  I have gone on to to write numerous articles and soon, three books on Latinas/os and Visual Culture and I think all of them come back to that panel—the young orphaned witness with her face, unseen, to the screen.  

The smartest undergraduate I ever “taught” (I am not sure I taught her anything) the independent film maker Diana Contreras, interrupted me when I was lecturing in class about this panel at SDSU in 1991. I was speaking endlessly about the dialectical relationship between witnessing and being, between seeing and existing—you know the drill: “blah blah blah.”

She interrupts my lecture to tell me and my 120 students, "Nericcio, that’s not a TV screen, it’s Errata’s mirror."

I shut up.

I had nothing left to say.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Monday, May 06, 2019

Mariachi Flor de Toloache #auralmextasy #mextasy #mariachi

Thanks to my Women's Studies MA mentee Bertha Rodriguez for turning my ears on to the #auralmextasy wonders of this femme supergroup!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Anti-Semitic Violence in Poway / Southern California Racism and Neo-Fascism

A guest post today from my friend Mark Dery--bracing, scathing, prose as always from the author of Culture Jamming and a recent Edward Gorey biography.

The other shoe--a jackboot, as it happens--drops. My San Diego/Chula Vista homies will bristle at the imputation that America's Finest City is fertile soil for far-right toadstools, and there's no denying that S.D. has come a long way since Gore Vidal dubbed it "the Vatican of the John Birch Society."

It's more diverse, more bourgeois-liberal (if not flamingly socialist, but one small step for this sunny redoubt of Bible-belt evangelicals, active Navy, retired Navy, and golf-club Republicans is a giant leap for Leftkind, comrades!). All those points happily granted, Mike Davis, Kelly Mayhew, and Jim Miller's masterwork of activist historiography, Under the Perfect Sun exposes S.D.'s long and storied history as a bastion of Goldwater Republicanism at best and white supremacism at worst. It should replace the Gideon Bible in every San Diego hotel room.

From Santee (so infested with white supremacists, in my gloriously misspent '70s youth, that locals referred to it as "Klantee") to the lynch mob that ran Emma Goldman and her husband out of town to the Klan chapter that flourished in America's finest city to a long, vile history of using undocumented immigrants--"wetbacks," in the colorful parlance of the day--for target practice with BB guns and far, far worse, S.D. has long been congenial to far-right politics and dreams of white power.

Tom Metzger, of White Aryan Resistance fame, is a hometown boy, as is Boyd Rice, hipster neo-Nazi and pioneer of alt-right "ironic" fascism. Before ardent defenders of S.D.'s reputation storm the ramparts of the Dery manse, that Chateau Marmont of armchair radicalism, let me hasten to say that, no, S.D. doesn't hold copyright to white suprematicism and, yes, New York, land that I love, is rotten with it, and yes--one more time, this time with feeling--S.D. is by all accounts a more diverse, more progressive place than it was in the '60s and '70s when I was growing up in its borderlands, in what the local wags referred to, with genial racism, as "Chulajuana"--an epithet I now embrace with homie pride, by the way. Make America Mexico Again!

But it hasn't changed *enough*.

Ask any non-white San Diegan. Better yet, ask my Trumper relatives, who seethe with incredulous indignation at the *very idea* of Chicano Park, a hunk of land occupied by barrio residents after the California Department of Transportation pulled a Robert Moses and obliterated their neighborhood with the I-5 freeway, then reneged on its promise to build a park in its place. Decades later, my relatives are *still* galled by the (wait for the irony!) thought of a "Chicano" park, which they deem "racist" by definition. Brown privilege!

History matters; the slaughter in Poway didn't come out of nowhere, and it's high time the official culture in the town that Shamu built publicly confronted the specters of its racist past.
Dery's rant ends with a link to a story by Brooke Binkowski in The Washington Post:

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Mextasy: Fond Farewell to | The Mextas...

Mextasy: Fond Farewell to | The Mextas...:   It's about to close--my first poster shop, my semiotic tiendita.  Check it out as it dies at midnight, today, Sunday, March 31, 2...

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of the "Mexican" in America by William A. Nericcio | Best Deal on the Internets!

Click to enlarge | More images below


A rogues' gallery of Mexican bandits, bombshells, lotharios, and thieves saturates American popular culture. Remember Speedy Gonzalez? "Mexican Spitfire" Lupe Vélez? The Frito Bandito? Familiar and reassuring—at least to Anglos—these Mexican stereotypes are not a people but a text, a carefully woven, articulated, and consumer-ready commodity. In this original, provocative, and highly entertaining book, William Anthony Nericcio deconstructs Tex[t]-Mexicans in films, television, advertising, comic books, toys, literature, and even critical theory, revealing them to be less flesh-and-blood than "seductive hallucinations," less reality than consumer products, a kind of "digital crack."
Nericcio engages in close readings of rogue/icons Rita Hayworth, Speedy Gonzalez, Lupe Vélez, and Frida Kahlo, as well as Orson Welles' film Touch of Evil and the comic artistry of Gilbert Hernandez. He playfully yet devastatingly discloses how American cultural creators have invented and used these and other Tex[t]-Mexicans since the Mexican Revolution of 1910, thereby exposing the stereotypes, agendas, phobias, and intellectual deceits that drive American popular culture. This sophisticated, innovative history of celebrity Latina/o mannequins in the American marketplace takes a quantum leap toward a constructive and deconstructive next-generation figuration/adoration of Latinos in America.

What do you get for your hard-earned twenty+ bucks??? A new, hermetically-sealed (for your protection!) copy of William Nericcio's 2007 ALA award-winning book, Tex{t}-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of the "Mexican" in America.  And at ¡venta venta, venga venga! sale price as Jeff Bezos at Amazon is trying to charge $27.95 for this book! The book is shipped (or hand-delivered to you via special courier) along with our selection of two gift prints from the Mextasy Collection! If you want me to "break the seal" and sign the book, just order here and then email me to and tell me how you want it inscribed!

27.95 USD $21.95 USD + FREE shipping!!!!
More images from the book!