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.”
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.
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.
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.
The Works of Arthur Laurentsshowcases 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:
Central American Avant-Garde Narrativeby 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.
Central American Avant-Garde Narrative by Adrian Kane analyzes the relation between cultural changes and experimental fiction written during the 1920s and 30s. This era, known in Latin America as the historical avant-garde, was characterized by a wave of literary and artistic innovation. By framing several Central American novels and short stories from this period within the highly dynamic political and intellectual cultures from which they emerge, this study analyzes the way in which novelists Miguel Ángel Asturias, Luis Cardoza y Aragón, Flavio Herrera, Rogelio Sinán, and Max Jiménez employ subversive narrative strategies that undermine previously dominant intellectual paradigms.
By identifying innovative Central American texts and demonstrating the ways in which they participate in the broader Latin American avant-garde movement, this study contributes to a more complete picture of this continental project of cultural renovation. The author challenges scholars to rethink the concept of the avant-garde as solely a group phenomenon and establishes a direct link between literary experimentation and the cultural contexts of these Central American countries. This book contributes to recent scholarship that has emphasized the importance of this brief period of radical experimentation in the development of subsequent literary movements in Latin America as well as to the ongoing dialogue in the humanities about the concept of modernity in relation to various forms of cultural representation.
Central American Avant-Garde Narrative is an important book for all Spanish and Latin American studies collections.
There are also other reasons for the broad appeal of Picturing Argentina: It is an unprecedented study that concentrates systematically on the evolution of social attitudes reflected in Argentine movies throughout the years of the first Peronism; it is also the first to assess the period’s impact on subsequent filmmaking activity. In addition, this book is currently the only English-language study that provides an extensive assessment of Argentine cinema during the first Peronism. Given its interdisciplinary coverage extending across Latin American culture, history, politics, and sociology, Picturing Argentina is an immensely valuable resource to scholars.
The following are some key questions with responses taken directly from the book.
Why is the period important?
“This was a volatile period in Argentine history, framed by two coups and characterized by intense social conflict and reform. … The years of first Peronism were a time when Argentine cultural myths underwent remarkable transformation.”
Why examine the movies?
“Argentine movies produced in all the years under consideration provide evidence of both change and stasis in the nation’s collective mindset, and it is instructive to examine them in the context of first Peronism, which was characterized by intense, often bitter conflicts.”
How does this pertain to gender and social class?
“Many of Perón’s opponents saw economic class divisions as ‘natural.’His followers deemed them a perversion. … Also at stake were the ‘natural’ roles of men and women, the ‘natural’ behavior of fathers and mothers, the ‘natural’ leadership talents of military figures, the ‘natural’ implications of ethnicity, the ‘natural’ role of authority, the ‘natural’ practice of sports, and the ‘natural’ response to crime. … All these matters were of concern to Argentines during first Peronism, and all of them are reflected in the nation’s movies that premiered at that time.”
Why is the study of film critical to other disciplines such as politics and sociology?
“The government measures—blacklisting movie professionals, imposing censorship, blocking the release of films, requiring plot modifications or commentary distancing the regime from the social ills portrayed, rewarding pro-Peronist filmmakers with preferential financing, and encouraging content designed to evoke associations with beneficial government practices or to give a positive spin to controversial ones—complicate the understanding of how films “serve diverse groups diversely” during first Peronism (Altman 207). … Political cinema in its broadest sense reflects the dominant “quick moral intuitions” of a given period by presenting them as natural (as myths)—but it may also reflect on them and call them into question. As will become evident in the following pages [of Picturing Argentina], the interplay between these two trends attests fundamental changes in Argentine society during crucial years of the nation’s history.”
Browse this book now using the Cambria Press Free Preview Tool. A special 40% discount is currently on for all titles–use web coupon code LASA2014. Your library can use this too, so please forward the code on. See also the Latin American studies catalog.
Check out oure-book rentalstoo: Cambria monographs have excellent chapter readings for undergraduate and graduate classes–avoid the hassle of textbook orders and simply assign a book chapter (or more) to students for the week’s reading for only $8.99!