Speaker: Horacio Legrás, UC Irvine
In this talk, I consider various political, social and academic responses to the femicides of Ciudad Juárez. The talk develops three central ideas: first, although aberrant in themselves, the type of violence typified by the femicides can be nonetheless classified: it is a psychotic violence; second, as psychotic this violence is not privative of Mexico's northern frontier, but it replicates a narcissistic disavowal of otherness that characterizes the modelic subjectivity of consumer neo-liberal society at large. Finally, as happens in psychotic outbreaks, one of the results of this configuration is a generalized crisis in the function of reality and an increasing questioning of the social institutions in charge of guaranteeing a sense of the real in the world today. I conclude with the question of how academic discourse is affected by this configuration.
Horacio Legrás is a distinguished cultural theorist and Professor of Latin American Literature and Film and Media Studies. He received his Ph.D. in Romance Languages from Duke University. His areas of research include Mexican literary, film and cultural studies, Latin American intellectual history, neoliberal culture, and literary theory. He is the author of Literature and Subjection: The Economy of Writing and Marginality in Latin America (University of Pittsburgh Press, Illuminations, 2008) and Culture and Revolution: Violence, Memory, and the Making of Modern Mexico (University of Texas Press, Border Hispanisms, 2017). Professor Legrás has published numerous essays on Augusto Roa Bastos, José María Arguedas, Caribbean culture, nineteenth century theatre, Mexican muralism, critical theory and film.