Spanish Students Present Research at CLACS Conference

Ten graduate students from MSU’s Spanish program are presenting their research at the Graduate Student Conference hosted by MSU’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies on Friday, March 17. Scheduled from 1 to 5:30 p.m. on the 3rd floor of MSU’s International Center, the conference will include two sessions and a final panel. The College of Arts & Letters students who are presenting research include the following:

La presencia de la ausencia en Canción de cuna para un anarquista (2003) de Jorge Díaz y El olvido está lleno de memoria (2002) de Jerónimo López Mozo

man wearing a black sweater with a lake in the background

Osvaldo Sandoval

Through the voices of the exiles, the proposal of this study is based on the idea of return as a new form of displacing in post-dictatorship societies in Chile and Spain. The confrontation with reality generates a new trauma, which is responsible for revealing an alternative discourse (of absence and presence) that alters a pre-established social order. Sandoval identifies the word displacement in the sense that Díaz gives to exile in his works as the “separation of something.” He also considers the idea of (self) exile, based on the reflections of Edward Said, in Reflections on Exile and Other Essays (2000), not only as the separation of something, but also as the loss of that something forever.

Against Shock and Horror: Empathy for Perpetrators in Germán Casto Caycedo’s Literary Reporting of Colombian Civil Conflicts

woman with glasses smiling at the camera

Mary Ann Lugo

Lugo’s presentation analyzes the ethics of writing of Germán Castro Caycedo, one of Colombia’s best-known literary journalists. The presentation discusses writings about men and women who fought in Colombia’s civil conflicts and argues that Caycedo displays an ethics of writing that privileges understanding perpetrators over gruesome, shocking descriptions of cruel acts.

Unsitely Memories: Urbanizing the Archive and Archiving the Urban in Postwar Guatemala

man wearing glasses and a blue shirt

Andrew Bentley

During the Guatemalan Civil War (1960-1996), the State and its agents (the government, the military, neoliberal policies, and the Peace Accords and truth commissions) mediated narratives of truth. In the postwar period (1996-present), truth-telling now takes place in cultural production, which records and inscribes traces of the recent past and, consequently, preserves unpleasant memories that the State has elected to forget. By showcasing what Bentley dubs “unsitely memories” in locations such as the Historical Archives of the National Police and in main downtown thoroughfares in Guatemala City, the audience will see the reciprocal process of how the urban space is archived and how the archives constitute a mini metropolitan area all unto themselves. 

El (des)ontrol del poder. El mito del dictador y su decadencia en La fiesta del Chivo de Mario Cargas Llosa

woman wearing a white shirt with a painting and bushes behind her

Claudia Berrios-Campos

This presentation will analyze the representation of the dictator in the novel The Feast of the Goat, written by Peruvian author and Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa. Berrios-Campos will analyze how, in this novel, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, the dictator of the Dominican Republic, contrasts his hunger for control and power over the Dominican population with how he is portrayed as a body in the process of decadence, unable to control his primary bodily functions. In this sense, this dichotomy represents a criticism of an authoritarian and unlimited power.

Voces siempre subalternas: representaciones de mujeres caribeñas en el cine español, Flores de otro mundo (Icíar Bollaín, 1999) y Princesas (Fernando León de Aranoa, 2005)

black and white image of a woman smiling at the camera

Judit Fuente Cuesta

This presentation will talk about how two particular Spanish movies portray the image of female Caribbean immigrants. It will show how Spanish cinema begins to give a voice to these women and tries to increase the empathy of the spectators through showing the difficulties, obstacles, and the negotiations of space to which they are exposed. However, in the end, they only serve to reinforce the stereotype that their value lies in their bodies and exoticity.

Building a Nineteenth-Century Criollo Man’s Power: Hair and Other Masculine Attributes in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay

man wearing a suit

Julio César Paredes

This presentation will cover physical and symbolic attributes of masculinity in Creole men of newly founded nations of Spanish America, specifically the geographical area known as Austral America (Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay). Taking into account the discursive process by which the representation of masculinity was created in this time, Paredes pays special attention to the display of Creole men’s attributes, especially their hairstyle and facial hair and the way in which these features contribute to the ideal civilized male identity.

The Undertone: Gossip as a Tool for Constructing and Revisiting Female Writing

woman with glasses smiling at the camera

Laura Romero Quintana

Quintana proposes gossip as a tool that literary studies can someday use in order to revisit the historical construction of female writers as intellectual people. This means that we would be able to surpass, as well as go deep into, biographical readings that usually aren’t complex, but rather settle with a traditional, canonical view of intellectual female figures.

Dibujando y escribiendo el testimonio de oídas desde una perspectiva decolonial en Primer nueva corónica de Felipe Guamán Poma de Ayala

man wearing a black suit and pink tie

Xavier Jimenez-Cuba

Jimenez-Cuba’s presentation focuses on how the 17th century Guamán Poma de Ayala, an indigenous author from the Andean zone, represents the genesis of the Inca Kingdom through malleable discourses (based on Judeo-Christian and Andean traditions). In other words, Guamán Poma de Ayala´s ambiguous representation of the Inca Empire responds to the fact that he is introducing oral tradition into two cultural means that are much more stable and static: writing and painting. 

Conflicto cultural del sujeto Imperial en el siglo XVI

man wearing a black suit smiling at the camera

José Adrián Badillo-Carlos

This presentation analyzes how, in his work Naufragios, Álvaro Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, a Spanish conquistador, offers a conflictive version of his identity through the control of his writing and its self-representation while creating a dynamic of subjective positions. Badillo-Carlos’s goal is to explain how the author and protagonist of Naufragios move throughout the narrative between the identities of the I-imperialist and the Other-indigenous.

From the Indies to America: The Transmutation of the Visual and Textual Perception of the ‘New World’ from 1492 to 1615

man wearing glasses smiling at the camera

Charles Moulding

Moulding’s presentation will show how several visual and textual artifacts from the 15th and 16th centuries show an evolution of conceptual acceptance in Europe of the “New World.” This evolution began with Columbus believing he had not discovered a “new world,” but rather had just landed in the Indies, which was accepted in the general population of Europe as well. However, as it became apparent that the place Columbus had landed was not the Indies, but rather a new continent entirely, everything about the perception of this landmass was reconceived and reimagined to make it “America.” 

Written by Alexandria Drzazgowski, Professional Writing Major