6425 Boaz Lane
Dallas, Texas 75205

Associate Professor of Literature, University of California, Santa Cruz

?New Orleans, the Gulf of Mexico System, and the Abjection of Latin America?

Emanuel Bowen: An Accurate Map of the West Indies. Engraving (hand colored) (London, ca. 1720 or 1747).
DeGolyer Library, SMU, Gift of B. B. Barr and John N. Rowe III, 2005

Thursday, March 2, 2006

6:00 pm reception, followed by lecture at 6:30 pm, then book signing following lecture.
DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

"New Orleans, the Gulf of Mexico System, and the Abjection of Latin America" argues for a new geographical imagining of the Gulf coast and its open sea as a transnational social space. By understanding the Gulf as a system of cultural exchange that is distinct from the Caribbean or the circum-Atlantic, we can approach the idea of the US-Mexican border in a new way. This talk will focus on the role of New Orleans as a liminal space between the "Anglo" and "Latin" Gulf, discussing visions of the city's potential to dominate Latin American markets from the nineteenth century forward. Citing examples from travelogues, novels, and paraliterary texts in English and Spanish, the talk will be accompanied by visuals.

Kirsten Silva Gruesz teaches nineteenth- and twentieth-century literatures of the Americas, including Latino literature. Her 2002 book, Ambassadors of Culture: The Transnational Origins of Latino Writing, examined the forgotten archive of early U.S. periodicals in Spanish in the context of literary relations between the Americas. Currently the ACLS Frederick Burckhardt Fellow at the Huntington Library, she is at work on a book about scenes of Spanish language learning in U.S. literature.

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