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New Book Juxtaposes Colonial and Contemporary Mexico

In October, 2014, the University of Arizona Press released "Colonial Itineraries of Contemporary Mexico: Literary and Cultural Inquiries," a book co-edited by Dr. Anna Nogar and Dr. Oswaldo Estrada.

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Nogar is an Assistant Professor of Hispanic Southwest Studies in the UNM Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and faculty affiliate with the Latin American & Iberian Institute. Her areas of interest include Mexican American cultural studies and literature, colonial Latin American literature (focus on 17th and 18th century Mexico), and transatlantic studies. Her current research examines the evolution of a subversive transatlantic miracle narrative from the 17th to the 21st century using a Mexican American cultural studies approach. Her co-editor, Estrada, is an Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

According to the publisher, "Through a transformative interdisciplinary lens, this book studies the ultra-contemporary chronicles of Carlos Monsiváis, the poetry of Carmen Boullosa and Luis Felipe Fabre, and the novels of Enrique Serna, Héctor de Mauleón, Mónica Lavín, and Pablo Soler Frost, among others. The book also pays close attention to a good sample of recent children's literature that revisit Mexico's colonia. It includes the transatlantic perspective of Spanish novelist Inma Chacón, and a detailed analysis of the strategies employed by Laura Esquivel in the creation of a best seller. Other chapters are devoted to the study of transnational film productions, a play by Flavio González Mello, and a set of novels set in the nineteenth-century colonia that problematize static notions of both personal and national identity within specific cultural palimpsests. Taken together, these incisive readings open broader conversations about Mexican coloniality as it continues well into the twenty-first century."

The publication has been well received by reviewers. David William Foster, author of "Mexican Literature: A History," called it "An important guide to early twenty-first-century writing on Mexico. A vital and innovative book on the polemics of recreating the colonial past in a neoliberal era." Michael K. Schuessler, author of "Foundational Arts: Mural Painting and Missionary Theater in New Spain," wrote that "Colonial Itineraries sheds light on our knowledge of colonial and contemporary Mexican literature [and offers] a lasting contribution to our understanding of a unique historical and literary phenomenon."

Image: Adapted from book cover.

--Posted November 18, 2014.