The Borderlands of Culture in Election-Urgency

Ramón Saldívar

Title Conditional: The Borderlands of Culture in Election-Urgency
Monday, October 26, 2020
Time: 5:00 - 7:00 pm Pacific Time | Virtual event via Zoom
The cover of Ramón Saldívar's The Borderlands of Culture: Américo Paredes and the Transnational Imaginary. (Image courtesy of Duke University Press.)
 (Image courtesy of Duke University Press.)

Ramón Saldívar's influential 2006 book The Borderlands of Culture: Américo Paredes and the Transnational Imaginary remains relevant today. In this event, Professor Saldívar will reflect on how the book might help serve as a point of departure, in our current moment – starting with the 2016 election campaign's explicitly racist attacks on Black and Latinx citizenship and presence within the U.S. – for a critical, activating approach, via art and culture, to the questions of society, politics, and history that the book posed when it first appeared and that are of utmost urgency now.  Saldívar's groundbreaking study presented the incomparable work and life of the poet, novelist, musician, journalist, ethnographer, and literary critic Américo Paredes. The Borderlands of Culture illuminated the ways that Paredes' work – both within and outside academia – played crucial roles in what became the founding of Chicano Studies, as well as in struggles for sociopolitical and economic justice and democracy in the south Texas borderlands and well beyond. What lessons might Paredes and The Borderlands of Culture hold for us in October and November of 2020?

Ramón Saldívar is a professor of English and Comparative Literature and the Hoagland Family Professor of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama in 2012, who in 2013 appointed him to a six-year term on the National Council on the Humanities. 

Commentary by:
Ivonne del Valle is an associate professor of Colonial Studies in the Spanish and Portuguese Department at UC Berkeley. 

Alejandra Decker is a Ph.D. student in Hispanic Languages and Literatures at UC Berkeley, specializing in Mexican literature and Nahuatl studies. 

Presented by El Grupo and cosponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies, the Department of Spanish & Portuguese and the Department of Comparative Literature.