#MLA18 Book Launch: The Monster as War Machine

Meet Dr. Mabel Moraña, William H. Gass Professor in Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis and winner of the 2013 MLA Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize, on Saturday (January 6) at 11:30 a.m. at the Cambria Press booth (101) for a book signing for her latest book, The Monster as War Machine.

This book is in the Cambria Latin American Literatures and Cultures Series headed by Dr. Román de la Campa, the Edwin B. and Lenore R. Williams Professor of Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr.  de la Campa will also be at the booth to celebrate the publication of this new book.

Read excerpts of The Monster as War Machine.

#MLA18

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The Monster as War Machine – Book Excerpts

Cambria Press is proud to announce the publication of the new book, The Monster as War Machine, by by Mabel Moraña, William H. Gass Professor in Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis and winner of the 2013 MLA Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize. See below for excerpts from this book, which has been hailed as “a tour de force” and praised for being “audacious, erudite, and exquisitely written.”

Monster as War Machine

From the preface

An apparatus of social immunization, a simulacrum that spectacularizes its artificiality, a shifter that activates social dynamics, an assemblage that threatens the machinery of power, the monster symbolizes the heroic resistance of the slave and the sinister excesses of the master. Thus, it is essential to contextualize, even though it may seem fallacious, even the universality that the monster evokes in every one of its apparitions and attributes. In spite of its extreme empiria, and although it frequently lacks rationality and language, the monster is in its own way always philosophical. This book proceeds as a critical exercise that follows the meanderings of the monster’s “negative aesthetics.”

On Epistemophilia and the Performance of Difference

The nineteenth century was inhabited by ghosts and monsters that expressed dystopian fantasies about the possibility of unrestrained combinations of nature and technology. The anxiety that accompanied the ideology of progress, the turbulent culmination of the colonialist enterprise in the Americas, and the massive expansion of capitalism came to be sublimated through the monstrous. In this context, monstrosity constituted a discourse that directly addressed the tensions and exclusions of the social “order” of modernity in which forms of domination and social exclusion that began with colonialism were perpetuated and made into law. Processes like the scientific “rationalization” of the body were based on the demonization of otherness. These practices took the form of taxonomies of races and individuals that became part of the hierarchical and discriminatory imaginaries of infinite “progress” in modern capitalism. Monstrosity provided a visual and conceptual support for currents of thought that promoted privilege and exclusion based on naturalist criteria and supposedly demonstrable and unimpeachable truths. “Scientific racism” asserted the superiority of the Caucasian race within a highly influential technological structure that legitimated the political, economic, and cultural domination of societies thought to be savage, primitive, or barbarous. Forms of hybridity like mestizaje were interpreted as monstrous processes that promoted impurity and the degeneration of “pure” races.

On the Ubiquitous Quality of Monsters

For the monster, neither progress nor utopia nor purity of class, race, or gender exists, because its being consists of a contaminated material in which human qualities have been definitively or partially displaced, erased, or substituted by spurious, out-of-place characteristics. This ubiquitous quality constitutes the essence of the monster. The remains of its soul reside precisely in this ambiguous, fragile, and unstable condition. Zombies, vampires, pishtacos, chupacabras, demons, phantasms, and other representatives of the broad family tree that shares the characteristics of the monstrous or the supernatural are all beings that benefit from solitude and isolation. However, they also share, within their domains, family resemblances. The monster generates itself—regenerates, degenerates—mechanically, in order to survive as a distinct concentration of irrationality in a world ruled by monstrous but legitimated principles of exclusion and reification.

On the Age of Futilitarianism

Certain social, economic, and political conditions nonetheless seem to be a breeding ground for the proliferation of monstrosity, which is expressed both in concrete fears such as the desperation of being trapped, or the disconcerting awareness of horizons that open up a landscape of disorienting freedom that manifests as a foreign, ghostly place. According to the Comaroffs, we are now in “the Age of Futilitarianism”—that is, an era in which all hope is thought to be vain and all effort is considered futile …

The Monster as War Machine is in the Cambria Latin American Literatures and Cultures Series headed by Román de la Campa, the Edwin B. and Lenore R. Williams Professor of Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania.

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#MLA17 Events – Meet Cambria Press Series Editors and Authors

Cambria Press would like to invite #MLA17 attendees to join us for the following events:

mla17-invitaton

Meet Professor Román de la Campa
(University of Pennsylvania)

General Editor of the Cambria Studies in
Latin American Literatures and Cultures Series

Friday (January 6) at 5 p.m.
Cambria Press Booth 509, MLA Book Exhibit Hall

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Meet Professor Victor Mair
(University of Pennsylvania)

General Editor of the Cambria Sinophone World Series
Saturday (January 7) at 5:15 p.m
.
Cambria Press Booth 509, MLA Book Exhibit Hall

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Cosponsored Asian Studies Reception

Saturday (January 7) at 8:45 p.m
Room 411-412, Philadelphia Marriott

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Please also come visit us at the Cambria Press booth (509) in the book exhibit hall.

Friday ( January 6), 9 a.m.– 6 p.m.
Saturday (January 7), 9 a.m.– 6 p.m.
Sunday (January 8), 9 a.m.– 1 p.m.

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Cambria Press Publication Review: Contemporary Hispanic Poets

Congratulations to Professor John Burns on the outstanding review by the journal, A contra corriente, of his book Contemporary Hispanic Poets: Cultural Production in the Global, Digital Age!

This book is in the Cambria Latin American Literatures and Cultures series, headed by Professor Román de la Campa, the Edwin B. and Lenore R. Williams Professor of Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania.

The book review notes that “John Burns’ study of Hispanic poetry from Chile, Mexico, and Spain employs a cultural studies approach in its analysis of recent poetic production in Spanish. It is innovative  in  its  transatlantic  scope, and is a  valuable  contribution to attempts  to reconsider  the  role  and  status  of  the  poet  in  globalized—and especially neoliberal—socioeconomic context.”

#LASA2016

Other details noted in the review about the book include:

“[the book] presents a surprising, yet effective pairing of poets: Spaniard Leopoldo María Panero and Chilean Raúl Zurita”

“the  sharpness  of  Burns’  readings  of well-known  poetry by  Panero—more  so  than  elucidations  of Panero’s cameos  in novels  by  authors  like  Roberto  Bolaño,  Enrique  Vila-Matos,  etc.—is  the  strongest element  of  this  section”

“Burns shows  himself  to  be  a  deft  close  reader  of poetry in his exploration of blurring techniques in  Juan Felipe Herrera’s “187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t  Cross  the  Border,” and  the  juxtaposition  of  Guillermo Gómez-Peña  and Herrera—with respect to the issue of “the poet as a navigator of a globalizing mediascape.”

See this book at the upcoming #LASA2016 book exhibit in New York City in two weeks!

There is a 30% LASA discount* on the print version of the book, or buy it on Amazon.

*LASA discount: Use coupon code LASA2016 upon checking out at http://www.cambriapress.com.

 

 

Juan Felipe Herrera, the First Mexican American U.S. Poet Laureate – The Contemporary Hispanic Poets Have Arrived!

The Library of Congress announced yesterday that the next U.S. poet laureate is Juan Felipe Herrera. He is the first Latino poet to be appointed to the position.

This significant achievement comes as no surprise to those familiar with Herrera’s work, especially Professor John Burns, Chair of the  Department of Modern and Classical Languages at Rockford University. In his new book Contemporary Hispanic Poets: Cultural Production in the Global, Digital Age, which was just published this March and launched at the recent Latin American Studies Association (LASA) international congress in Puerto Rico, Burns asserted that “Herrera is not heavy-handed, and when his work treads into the political realm, it embraces the ambiguities that are inherent in political value judgments.”

In discussing Juan Felipe Herrera‘s style, Burns also stated that “Herrera has not produced ‘the effect of the subaltern as subject’ for the sake of cultural legibility. Rather, he has attempted to articulate the space he inhabits, with all its playfulness and indeterminacy, thus avoiding essentialisms, strategic or otherwise. More often than not his work inhabits interstices, a space in between determined positions, and a space from which he can make those apparently determined positions—be they ethnic, political, or cultural—a little blurrier.”

This insightful observation makes it clear why learning more about Juan Felipe Herrera and his work (as well as other contemporary Hispanic poets) is critical not only for those in literary studies but in all disciplines of Latino studies.

Read the author interview with John Burns, author of Contemporary Hispanic Poets, which is in the Cambria Latin American Literatures and Cultures Series, headed by Cambria Latin American Literatures and Cultures Series headed by Román de la Campa, the Edwin B. and Lenore R. Williams Professor of Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania.

#Humanities Scholarship – Important and Growing

Cambria Press humanities

#Humanities Scholarship is Important

An excellent article from Inside Higher Ed regarding scholarship in the humanities, in which William (Bro) Adams, the head of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), said on Thursday that he wants to push humanities scholarship to become more directly connected to helping address the nation’s contemporary problems. There are also encouraging numbers from today’s Inside Higher Ed article showing that from 1987 to 2013 the average annual growth rate for liberal arts or liberal studies degrees at community colleges was 4.3 percent.

To reinforce the importance of the humanities, we highlight three very different books which illuminate the value of humanities scholarship in the present and for the future.

African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic World shows how slave legacies shape the identity and culture of a nation

The Works of Arthur Laurents showcases how gender politics and the dynamics of marriage across recent decades were mirrored in the performing arts.

Modern Poetry in China illustrates how turning away from centuries of Chinese literati tradition seemed necessary in the context of a political, social, and cultural reform movement.

Books like these provide critical insights into the layers that make up the different cultures which will inevitably and increasingly converge, clash, and influence one another as the world grapples with nationalism and globalism. Guiding Cambria Press’s commitment to scholarship in humanities are leading scholars such as:

Stay posted on important scholarship in the humanities!

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#humanities #scholarship

Central American Avant-Garde Narrative – RMMLA 2014 Book Highlight

Central American Literature Cambria Press academic publisher Latin American

Cambria Press Highlight: Central American Avant-Garde Narrative by Adrian Kane

Central American Avant-Garde Narrative by Adrian Kane has been just been published and will be on display in the 2014 RMMLA book exhibit this week.  Dr. Kane (professor of Spanish at Boise State University) will be chairing two RMMLA sessions this Friday.

This book is part of the Cambria Latin American Literatures and Cultures Series headed by Román de la Campa, the Edwin B. and Lenore R. Williams Professor of Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania.

Director Toni Tan will also be a speaker at the 2014 RMMLA special publishing seminar, “From Proposal to Publication.”

Be sure to get the  flier with the special 30% RMMLA on all titles.

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