Catch of the day

The history of Arizona. This is a key topic for alleged Hispanists.

An interesting paper on intertextuality in María: the problems are reading Napoleon’s diary and mimetic desire.

Thomas Ward’s bibliography on María.

On racism and the racial divide in Venezuela.

On gentrification and the “new urbanism”– the next racial project.

Adolph Reed on Django Unchained and on the fallacy of “popular” culture.

The mass culture v. popular culture debate dates at least from the 1950s and has continued with occasional crescendos ever since.5 For two decades or more, instructively in line with the retreat of possibilities for concerted left political action outside the academy, the popular culture side of that debate has been dominant, along with its view that the products of this precinct of mass consumption capitalism are somehow capable of transcending or subverting their material identity as commodities, if not avoiding that identity altogether. Despite the dogged commitment of several generations of American Studies and cultural studies graduate students who want to valorize watching television and immersion in hip-hop or other specialty market niches centered on youth recreation and the most ephemeral fads as both intellectually avant-garde and politically “resistive,” it should be time to admit that that earnest disposition is intellectually shallow and an ersatz politics.

Reed is someone else I should perhaps read more of. In the Django article he says much of what looks racial is really a class issue and that is one of the standard Brazilian arguments as well although there it is a more conservative position than it is when Reed takes it.

How does this idea fit with Goldberg and da Silva? Should I create a conference panel with these people and ask them? Reed has had an interesting life; being American, where did he pick up that Island-style accent?

Here is a sugar plantation I would like to visit, and will perhaps actually visit at the Easter holiday. Slaves were very expensive — so much so that it might cost the same to just hire someone. Has anyone studied this?

How long did slaves last on sugar plantations here? In Brazil they lasted seven years. How much did they cost there?



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