Monday, August 26, 2013

Dr. Alemán’s Article on the Gothic Conquest of Mexico Republished in The Spectralities Reader

Like the return of the repressed, Dr. Jesse Alemán’s article, “The Other Country: Mexico, the United States, and the Gothic History of Conquest,” has been republished in The Spectralities Reader: Ghosts and Haunting in Contemporary Cultural Theory, a new collection edited by María del Pilar Blanco and Esther Peeren. The Spectralities Reader brings together for the first time foundational theoretical works, cultural studies, and literary analyses of ghosts, spirits, specters, and other forms of hauntology that constitute spectral studies. The reader also includes works by Jacques Derrida, Gayatri Spivak, and Giorgio Agamben to name a few.

“The Other Country” first appeared in the pages of American Literary History and was subsequently reprinted in the collection Hemispheric American Studies (co-edited by Caroline Levander and Robert Levine) before reappearing in The Spectralities Reader. The essay argues that the history of the conquest of Mexico serves as an uncanny, gothic figuration in the nineteenth-century Anglo American imaginary.

Bourelles published in Digital Writing Assessment and Evaluation

Andy and Tiffany Bourelle had a chapter published this month in Digital Writing Assessment and Evaluation (Computers and Composition Digital Press, an imprint of Utah State University Press), entitled "Assessing Learning in Redesigned Online First-Year Composition Courses."

Here is the link to the chapter:

Murrah-Mandril Named the 2013-2014 CRS Hector Torres Fellow

Erin Murrah-Mandril, a Ph.D. candidate in the English Department, with a concentration in American Literary Studies, has been awarded the Center for Regional Studies Hector Torres Fellowship.

Murrah-Mandril took her BA in History and her MA in English at the University of New Mexico, and now, she is on the verge of completing her PhD in English. Her work focuses on late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century Mexican American literary production, and she has published articles in Western American Literature, Arizona Quarterly, and the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage series.

As a CRS Hector Torres Fellow, Murrah-Mandril will complete research and writing for her dissertation, “Time Out of Joint: Learning to Live with Specters through Mexican American Historical Narrative.” The project argues that Mexican American authors trouble modernist conceptions of empty, homogenous, linear and progressive time in order to survive and contest US colonization.  Her dissertation contextualizes the temporality of Mexican American literature within both the time of production and the time of literary recovery and maintains that early Mexican American writers, such as Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton, Miguel Otero, Adina de Zavala, and Jovita Gonzalez, challenge notions of progressive time to reveal temporality itself as a colonial instrument.  The material for her dissertation is located in archives throughout New Mexico and South Texas.

The Hector Torres Fellowship, a $10,000-$15,000 stipend, was inaugurated in 2010 by the University of New Mexico’s Center for Regional Studies in memory of the English Department’s slain colleague, Dr. Hector Torres.

The Center for Regional Studies Hector Torres Fellowship supports graduate research and scholarship in the English Department directly related to the late Dr. Hector Torres’ fields, as well as the mission of the Center for Regional Studies. Areas include Chicano/a literary and cultural studies; theory (i.e. Marxism; post-structuralism; deconstruction; psychoanalysis; and globalization); film studies; and scholarship related to the mission of the CRS, including history; archival research; literature; and other interdisciplinary fields related to New Mexico, the US-Mexico borderlands, and the greater southwest.

Murrah-Mandril is particularly grateful to be a CRS Hector Torres Fellow as the late Dr. Torres was one of her mentors, and his commitment to intellectual work strongly influences her theoretical approach.  Her dissertation would not be possible without the guidance he provided.

UNM Department of English hosts N. Scott Momaday for fourth annual Rudolfo and Patricia Anaya Lecture on the Literature of the Southwest

On Thursday, September 26, the UNM Department of English will host the distinguished writer N. Scott Momaday as the featured speaker for the fourth annual Rudolfo and Patricia Anaya Lecture on the Literature of the Southwest. Momaday will speak at 7:00 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the UNM Student Union Building (SUB). The lecture is free and open to the public, with a reception to follow.

N. Scott Momaday is one of the most distinguished writers of our time. His first novel House Made of Dawn was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1969, an event that brought new visibility to American Indian literature and literature of the Southwest, a landscape that has inflected his fiction, poetry, and paintings for decades. Born in Oklahoma of Kiowa ancestry, he lived throughout the Southwest as a child as his parents taught at Indian schools on Navajo, Apache, and Pueblo lands. He earned a B.A. from the University of New Mexico in 1958 and then taught for a year at the Jicarilla Apache Reservation before moving to Stanford University, where he earned a Ph.D. in 1963.

Momaday’s writing celebrates the power of language and the richness of oral tradition in works that invoke historical memory and often exceed the boundaries of genre. As Momaday explains: “Language fascinates me. Words are endlessly mysterious to me. And I think by and large that’s good. A writer should have that sense of wonder in the presence of words.” He has published more than 15 volumes of fiction, poetry, and drama, including The Way to Rainy Mountain (1969), The Names (1976), The Ancient Child (1989), In the Presence of the Sun (1992), The Man Made of Words (1997), and Again the Far Morning: New and Selected Poems (2011). An accomplished painter in watercolor, he often illustrates his own texts.

N. Scott Momaday has taught at the University of Arizona, Stanford University, the University of California-Berkeley, and the University of California-Santa Barbara, and has been an invited speaker at dozens of universities and colleges across the globe, including the University of Moscow. In 1992 he received the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas, and in 2007 he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. His honors also include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Academy of American Poets prize, and the Premio Letterario Internationale “Mondello,” Italy’s highest literary award. He was a founding Trustee of the National Museum of the American Indian, served as Poet Laureate of the Oklahoma Centennial in 2007, and is a member of the Kiowa Gourd Dance Society.

The UNM English Department established the annual lecture series on the literature of the Southwest in 2010 through a gift from the renowned fiction writer Rudolfo Anaya and his late wife Patricia Anaya. The English Department cherishes the fact that Emeritus Professor Rudy Anaya was on our faculty for so many years. A founder of our distinguished Creative Writing Program, he still inspires us with his joyous approach to life, sense of humor, and eloquent articulation of Hispanic culture and the beauties of the Southwest. He has long been an internationally known man of letters, but we take pride in the fact that he began his career in our department,” says Professor Gail Houston. “We feel privileged to have received his generous donation. There is no better venue for celebrating Southwest literature than the University of New Mexico English Department. We look forward to sharing this free event with everyone at UNM and in the community.” 

The annual Rudolfo and Patricia Anaya Lecture on the Literature of the Southwest features foundational figures such as Acoma Pueblo poet Simon Ortiz (2010), Las Cruces writer and playwright Denise Chávez (2011), and Taos writer John Nichols (2012). UNM Co-sponsors for the event include the Center for Southwest Research, the Center for the Southwest, the Department of English Language and Literature, the Department of History, the Honors College, and the Institute for American Indian Research (IFAIR). For further information, contact the Anaya Lecture Committee at or the UNM English Department at (505) 277-6347.