Sunday, April 03, 2011

Space, Place, and the Production of Knowledge | A Conference at the University of Hawai'i, Manoa | April 8th and 9th, 2011

This posting covers the American Studies lecture at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa; for info on the Mextasy presentation go here.

I am very excited to be jetting west over the Pacific in April to keynote a conference called Space, Place, and the Production of Knowledgeat the University of Hawai'i, Manoa, (April 8th and 9th, 2011).

The presentation there derives from the introduction and internal chapters of Eyegiene: Permutations of Subjectivity in the Televisual Age of Sex and Race.... 

Here's the new working title:

The cultural space of Hawai'i was burned into my synapses as a child growing up in Laredo, Texas--they were etched there by KGNS Television, Channel 8, an NBC (now NBCUniversal) affiliate.  This station owned two or three prints of Warner Brothers' cartoons that they played over and over and over again.  Somehow me and my sister Josie never got tired of Wackiki Wabbit, below, and Racketeer Rabbit.

In Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucination of the "Mexican" in America, I try to document how these Hollywood-borne versions of Mexicans (Speedy Gonzales, Charlton Heston as Miguel Vargas in Touch of Evil, etc) proxy for "real" Mexicans in the here and now--infecting viewers of these "innocent" entertainments with seductive hallucinations of "alien" subjectivities that resonate through the psyche forever.

In coming to Hawai'i, I want to advance the critical methodology developed in Tex[t]-Mex and apply it to "exotic" space of these heralded Pacific Islands.

That's part of the talk, the centerpiece of which will include a public screening of the aforementioned Wackiki Rabbit, directed by Chuck Jones in 1943:

The other part of my talk will address the focus of this special conference: Space, Place, and the Production of Knowledge. I just got finished revising an essay on Laredo, Texas, bordertown, as the geocultural space that gave birth to the postmodern.  Really!
Myriam Gurba
So the balance of my talk will look at writers, thinkers, painters, and performers who allow the particular and peculiar resonances of their geography, of their cartography, of their geo-psycho-carto-zeitgeist to "color" their work.  Examples include Algeria and France refracting the work of Jacques Derrida, the lower Rio Grande Valley infecting the work of painter Izel Vargas, maybe New York in the work of Jon Stewart
My guru! Jacques Derrida
Long Beach, California in the short stories of Myriam Gurba, and Laredo warping the mind of yours truly.

{dig Gurba's take on cultural spaces here...}

I really looking forward to working with the cool graduate student and faculty cohorts at the University of Hawai'i, at Manoa.   Aloha!

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