Sunday, December 21, 2008

See You in San Francisco for MLA, Gilbert Hernandez, Neurobiology, and Chicano/a Erotica

Right after Santa drops his load in South Texas, I will be off on a plane out of freezing Laredo, Texas, bound West for the bucolic cultural bliss of San Francisco, California, and the annual gathering for our coven of Lit and Language profs called the MLA! I am there at the instigation of Frederick Aldama, Patrick Colm Hogan (go Huskies!), and UT Press who are all part of a gang consorting to fuse neurobiology and the humanities for a veritable clusterf*** of mega-literary proportions; here's some of their verbiage wherein they cop to their goals, an intellectual conspiracy that aims to "incorporate cutting-edge research in cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, narrative theory, and related fields, insofar as this research bears on ... literature, film, drama, music, dance, visual art, digital media, and comics, etc." Their cabal, should it prosper, promises to publish and disseminate "specialized scholarship and interdisciplinary investigation[s]"--ones that are "deeply sensitive to cultural particularities and historically shifting relations of power and resistance" and "grounded in an understanding of cross culturally shared emotive and cognitive principles." Me? I will be talking about graphic Chicano illustrated narrative, namely Gilbert Hernandez's memorable sci-fi, psychoanalytic porn-epic, Birdland.

MLA San Francisco
280. Cognitive Approaches to Ethnic and Postcolonial Literature and Culture
Sunday, December 28, 2008
12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Nob Hill D, Marriott
Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Cognitive Approaches to Literature

Presiding: Frederick Luis Aldama, Ohio State Univ., Columbus
1. “Neurobiology, Comics, and the Chicana/o Climax: Gilbert Hernandez’s Birdland as Prolegomena to an Erotics of the Visual,” William Anthony Nericcio, San Diego State Univ.
2. “Latin American Historical Cinema and Categorial and Practical Identities,” Richard A. Gordon, Ohio State Univ., Columbus
3. “Schematizing the Timelessness of State Terror and Violence in Children of Men,” Arturo Aldama, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder
4. “Cognitive Psychology and South African Collective Guilt in Stuart Cloete’s Turning Wheels,” Rebecca Weaver-Hightower, Univ. of North Dakota