• Art Activism for an Anticolonial Future

      Garrido Castellano, Carlos (SUNY Press, 2021-10-01)
      Analyzing the confluence between coloniality and activist art, Art Activism for an Anticolonial Future argues that there is much to gain from approaching contemporary politically committed art practices from the angle of anticolonial, postcolonial, and decolonial struggles. These struggles inspired a vast yet underexplored set of ideas about art and cultural practices and did so decades before the acceptance of radical artistic practices by mainstream art institutions. Carlos Garrido Castellano argues that art activism has been confined to a limited spatial and temporal framework—that of Western culture and the modernist avant-garde. Assumptions about the individual creator and the belated arrival of derivative avant-garde aesthetics to the periphery have generated a narrow view of “political art” at the expense of our capacity to perceive a truly global alternative praxis. Garrido Castellano then illuminates such a praxis, focusing attention on socially engaged art from the Global South, challenging the supposed universality of Western artistic norms, and demonstrating the role of art in promoting and configuring a collective critical consciousness in postcolonial public spheres.
    • New Frontiers of Slavery

      Tomich, Dale W. (SUNY Press, 2016-03-01)
      The essays presented in New Frontiers of Slavery represent new analytical and interpretive approaches to the crisis of Atlantic slavery during the nineteenth century. By treating slavery within the framework of the modern world economy, they call attention to new zones of slave production that were formed as part of processes of global economic and political restructuring. Chapters by a group of international historians, economists, and sociologists examine both the global dynamics of the new slavery, and various aspects of economy-society and master-slave relations in the new zones. They emphasize the ways in which certain slave regimes, particularly in Cuba and Brazil, were formed as specific local responses to global processes, industrialization, urbanization, market integration, the formation of national states, and the emergence of liberal ideologies and institutions. These essays thus challenge conventional understandings of slavery, which often regard it as incompatible with modernity. Print versions available for purchase at https://sunypress.edu/Books/N/New-Frontiers-of-Slavery
    • On Self-Translation

      Stavans, Ilan (SUNY Press, 2018-11-01)
      Finalist for the 2018 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards in the Essay category From award-winning, internationally known scholar and translator Ilan Stavans comes On Self-Translation, a collection of essays and conversations on language in its multifaceted forms. Stavans discusses the way syntax is being restructured by texting and other technologies. He examines how the alphabet itself is being forgotten by the young, how finger snapping has taken on a new meaning, how the use of ellipses has lapsed, and how autocorrect is shaping the way we communicate. In an incisive meditation, he shows how translating one's own work reinvents oneself in another tongue. The volume includes tête-à-têtes with Pulitzer Prize–winner Richard Wilbur and short-fiction master Lydia Davis, as well as dialogues on silence, multilingualism, poetry, and the durability of the classics. Stavans's explorations cover Spanish, English, Hebrew, Yiddish, and the hybrid lexicon of Spanglish. He muses on the meaning of foreignness and on living and dying in different languages. Among his primary concerns are the role and history of dictionaries and the extent to which the authority of language academies is less a reality than a delusion. He concludes with renditions into Spanglish of portions of Hamlet, Don Quixote, and The Little Prince. The wide range of themes and engaging yet informed style confirm Stavans's status, in the words of the Washington Post, as "Latin America's liveliest and boldest critic and most innovative cultural enthusiast."
    • The Other/Argentina

      Kaminsky, Amy K. (SUNY Press, 2021-04-01)
      The Other/Argentina looks at literature, film, and the visual arts to examine the threads of Jewishness that create patterns of meaning within the fabric of Argentine self-representation. A multiethnic yet deeply Roman Catholic country, Argentina has worked mightily to fashion itself as a modern nation. In so doing, it has grappled with the paradox of Jewishness, emblematic both of modernity and of the lingering traces of the premodern. By the same token, Jewishness is woven into, but also other to, Argentineity. Consequently, books, movies, and art that reflect on Jewishness play a significant role in shaping Argentina’s cultural landscape. In the process they necessarily inscribe, and sometimes confound, norms of gender and sexuality. Just as Jewishness seeps into Argentina, Argentina’s history, politics, and culture mark Jewishness and alter its meaning. The feminized body of the Jewish male, for example, is deeply rooted in Western tradition; but the stigmatized body of the Jewish prostitute and the lacerated body of the Jewish torture victim acquire particular significance in Argentina. Furthermore, Argentina’s iconic Jewish figures include not only the peddler and the scholar, but also the Jewish gaucho and the urban mobster, troubling conventional readings of Jewish masculinity. As it searches for threads of Jewishness, richly imbued with the complexities of gender and sexuality, The Other/Argentina explores the patterns those threads weave, however overtly or subtly, into the fabric of Argentine national meaning, especially at such critical moments in Argentine history as the period of massive state-sponsored immigration, the rise of labor and anarchist movements, the Perón era, and the 1976–83 dictatorship. In arguing that Jewishness is an essential element of Argentina’s self-fashioning as a modern nation, the book shifts the focus in Latin American Jewish studies from Jewish identity to the meaning of Jewishness for the nation. Print versions available for purchase at https://sunypress.edu/Books/T/The-Other-Argentina
    • The White Indians of Mexican Cinema

      García Blizzard, Mónica (SUNY Press, 2022-04-01)
      The White Indians of Mexican Cinema theorizes the development of a unique form of racial masquerade—the representation of Whiteness as Indigeneity—during the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, from the 1930s to the 1950s. Adopting a broad decolonial perspective while remaining grounded in the history of local racial categories, Mónica García Blizzard argues that this trope works to reconcile two divergent discourses about race in postrevolutionary Mexico: the government-sponsored celebration of Indigeneity and mestizaje (or the process of interracial and intercultural mixing), on the one hand, and the idealization of Whiteness, on the other. Close readings of twenty films and primary source material illustrate how Mexican cinema has mediated race, especially in relation to gender, in ways that project national specificity, but also reproduce racist tendencies with respect to beauty, desire, and protagonism that survive to this day. This sweeping survey illuminates how Golden Age films produced diverse, even contradictory messages about the place of Indigeneity in the national culture.