The Life of Cotton: Ancestors, Modernity, and the U.S.-Mexico Borderland

Wed Feb 21 2024 at 02:15 pm to 03:45 pm UTC+02:00

Metsätalo | Helsinki

Sivuvalo
Publisher/HostSivuvalo
The Life of Cotton: Ancestors, Modernity, and the U.S.-Mexico Borderland
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The Life of Cotton: Ancestors, Modernity, and the U.S.-Mexico Borderland
Speaker: Cristina Rivera Garza
Wednesday, February 21st, 14:15-15:45
Metsätalo, Unioninkatu 40, Room 6
Content: Short-lived attempts at progress, symptoms of a fickle political system, several massive modernization projects rose and fell throughout Northern Mexico in the first half of the 20th century. Drawing populations from both sides of a then-malleable border, these projects reshaped the desert landscape and offered a sense of hope to thousands of destitute laborers. By drawing correspondences between institutional archives and family memory, Cristina Rivera Garza stages a journey to the cotton fields of Tamaulipas and Texas, a territory ripe with contradictions and binational tensions. The thwarted modernity represented by these agricultural projects left a void now dominated by the narratives of migration, deportation, and drug traffic. Director of the Creative Writing Program in Hispanic Studies at the University of Houston (Texas) and member of El Colegio Nacional (Mexico’s Academy of Sciences), Cristina Rivera Garza will expound on the past and present of the U.S.-Mexico borderland, its plights, and the thinkers and citizens endeavoring to give this region a future.
Cristina Rivera Garza, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of several novels, collections of short stories, poetry and non-fiction books. Originally written in Spanish, these works have been translated into multiple languages, including English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Korean. The recipient of the Roger Caillois Award for Latin American Literature (Paris, 2013); as well as the Anna Seghers (Berlin, 2005), she is the only author who has won the International Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Prize twice, in 2001 for her novel Nadie me verá llorar (translated into English by Andrew Hurley as No One Will See Me Cry) and again in 2009 for her novel La muerte me da.
Rivera Garza is a 2020 MacArthur Foundation Fellow for Fiction and Non-Fiction Writing. She currently works as the Director of the Creative Writing Program in Hispanic Studies at the University of Houston (Texas) and is a member of El Colegio Nacional (Mexico’s Academy of Sciences). At the moment she is a fellow of the Berliner Künstler Programm of DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service).
Event co-organised by: Sivuvalo, Doctoral Seminar of Literature, University of Helsinki and Doctoral Seminar of World Politics, University of Helsinki.
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Event Venue & Nearby Stays

Metsätalo, Yrjö-Koskisen katu 1, FI-00170 Helsinki, Suomi,Helsinki, Finland

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