Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dystopia, Dystopia! Spring 2010, English 549 @ SDSU

My new Spring 2010 class on Dystopias in film and literature is now live on the internets (Dystopia, Dystopia! From the Erotic Electric to the Anarchy of Technologies on the Verge). See a screenshot of the page opposite or click here to be instantly teleported! No worries, despite the cynical pessimism that is the life's blood of your dystopic webweaver, there is no danger in this process (I hope) and no big brother is watching (I think). The class is perfect for folks interested in interdisciplinary studies (MALAS, are you listening?) and other area and ethnic studies devotees!

Art Laboe in the LA Times

audio slide show

Art LeBoe in the LA Times

Salvador Barajas Writes in With a Xicanosmotic Project

Mexican Superheroes, Working Immigrants, XicanOSMOSIS, and Dulce Pinzón

original posting: 3/5/08

It may be the times (and a facebook query from a regular reader), but I think the present anti-immigrant zeitgeist demands that we rethink the way we see these mostly brave, valiant, documented and undocumented sojourners--no one makes us do that better than Dulce Pinzón.
Xicanosmosis is one of the key concepts that emerges in the closing sections of Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucination of the "Mexican" in American. A mouthful of a word, XicanOSMOSIS is a name loaded with salacious, reproductive overtones; it describes a peculiar process or phenomena where the high-brow and low-brow miasmal excesses of U.S. pop culture and the equally sordid and delicious emanations of Mexican mass arts fuse, co-mingle, spoon, and "splorf" into and onto each other in a veritable orgy of creative synergy and aesthetic synesthasia. You can see xicanosmotic climaxes and much, much, much more at work in the brilliant art of Dulce Pinzón, especially her Superheroes project.

Pinzon's fabulous gallery of ocular delights imagines an urban metropolitan setting where working Mexican immigrants are re-imagined at their labors clothed in the garb of DC and Marvel comics finest--Spiderman, the Flash, the Thing, Batman, and more. The go-to target of fascist racist pundits, the working poor, the swarthy immigrant, is re-visioned as the epitome of American fantasy, the Superhero.

Gracias, gracias to the BorderLore newsletter, a project out of the Southwest Center at the University of Arizona! More info? Hit this.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Doroteo Arango, aka Pancho Villa, with his Kids

follow-up posting

San Diego State University Outreach

Last Friday I was lucky enough to be tapped by Berenice Gil (EOP) at SDSU to be one of the professors talking to local area high school students in their Freshman for a Day program--I had a blast working with the 35 or so students who were SDSU undergraduates for one afternoon on Montezuma Mesa! I hope that ALL of them decide to try to get to SDSU, or, if that does not work out, Harvard! The program is to your left; one group of Hoover High geniuses appears below:


SDSU Marketing and Communications has posted a video and story on Freshman for a Day program:

Xicanosmosis: Cuban-style

More Spanish-Speaking "Hilarity" from Texas

Thanks once again to our ace East Coast agent Daphne Strassmann for the link--a follow-up on this prior posting.

Erase the Black Couple! I SAID ERASE THE BLACK COUPLE: More Photoshopping Hijinks and the History of Race

Ace Boston gumshoe journalist Daphne Strassmann writes in with a link to the latest tale of photoshopping and race in cinema. Hit the image above for the story!

Wow! One of the Most Striking Mexican Stereotypes I Have Found in Ages: Sanka Coffee and the Sleeping Mexican

More on it here from the page.

More on the Traces of Africa in Mexico

More Video Game "Literature" at the Border!

My thanks to my friend and amazing artist Izel Vargas for bringing this came to my attention--I can add it to the work I am doing on Borderlands.

Tex[t]-Mextian Sightings in the Village Voice!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

On the Verge: Borderlands From Gearbox

In an article published years ago entitled "Artif[r]acture" with MELUS, I argued that literary critics had to update their tools to deal with a literary realm that was increasingly visual and semiotic--if anything the mild jeremiads of that piece need a turboboost in our world today with Kindle, nook (pictured above), and their ilk changing the way folks read and libraries increasingly becoming gold mines of picture/word assemblages.

In that piece (a revised, update version of which appears in Eyegiene, my forthcoming picture-filled tome with UT Press), I wrote about video games being the next form of "the novel."

I wrote that, and I still believe it to be true, but I have never tried it--until now....

Gearbox software just came out with a new game called Borderlands--you can watch a review of it here from Gametime Trailers:

You can get the game specs here or by hitting the image there to your left.

I have written about the demonization and sexualization and the militarization of the border between the US and Mexico for years; I am very curious to see how this TROPE-ic Verge plays out in ultra violent games for the kiddies and others...

Get your hands on one of my books ...