Thursday, October 13, 2011
Overall Concept of ch. 5 : ironically contrasts how peoples romanticized perception of Missions in CA with how the missions actually were
"The same year that Spain purged the foreign from itself, Spain set sail to convert the world." 114
Members must be native born Californians-an odd requirement insofar as the men and women who built California were born elsewhere."122
2. Romance/ imaginative idea of history:
"Tourists come in spite of the religious aspect of the missions. Indeed, the missions are picturesque; they are romantic; they lure the Californian off the freeway for being so different - seeming so pristine - amidst the ancient ruins of twentieth-century California." – 124
"San Jose is the most recently restored of the missions... rebuilt from the ground up - a complete fake. And, for that, probably the nearest approach to the past." - 130
3. Father/ Adam Figure:
“ Father Serra is an authentic pun in California –Father of the state –civilizer, tamer of savages, planter of shade.”-111
“Father Serra can play two parts in a tragedy of California. If he is the first Lost Man, the perceivable Adam, he is well the Angel of the Fiery Sword, forbidding Eden.” -117
4. Importance of Remembrance:
“It reminds me of freeways being built in California; it reminds me of my faith in the future. My nostalgia is for a time when I felt myself free of nostalgia.”-120
“What sorrowing Daughter could not abide was the leveling shrug of a state that honors only the future. Such a state condemned her parents to oblivion.” -123
Connections of Concepts to overall concept of Chapter:
The overarching theme of the chapter is that California, being relatively new, is burdened with the urge to connect itself to the past, even if this means having a broken, self-gratifying understanding of what the past actually contains. For example, the San Jose mission had to be rebuilt and is composed of none of the original masonry, but is still used as a link to the past just to have something. The text has various examples of the ironies that crop up as a result of this need for a historical connection that isn’t really there. Father Serra is prominent because California needed to have it’s own idol. Like the reporters that the archivist complains of, California needs an imagined connection to history, and doesn’t require accuracy.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
1. Parenthood (mother vs. father/male vs. female) America = Adopting vs. Mexico parenthood
- Passage 1: "Mexico, mad mother. She still does not know what to make of our leaving. For most of the century Mexico has seen her children flee from the house of memory." Pg. 52
- Passage 2: "Mexico worries about her own. What influence shall she have? The village is international now...Mexico cannot hold the attention of her children." Pg. 73
2. Private vs. Public Self (Tu vs. Usted) pg. 54, 63, and 68 passages
- Passage 1: "At the heart there is tu---the intimate voice---the familiar room in a world full of rooms," ... "Usted, the formal, the bloodless, the ornamental you, is spoken to the eyes of strangers." Pg. 54
- Passage 2: "Mexicans have invaded American privacy to babysit or to watch the dying or to wash lipstick off the cocktail glasses...The Southwest is besotted with the culture of tu."
3. Memory and Language
- Passage 1:"What is the prognosis for a memory in a country so young? For Mexico is memory...." Pg. 73
- Passage 2: "At the end of the week, the tabernacle of memory is dismantled, distributed among the villagers in their vans, and carried out of Mexico." Pg. 79
4. Diaspora/Migration (America/immigrating vs. Mexico/emigrating or [Mexico as an archtransvestite pg. 61]
- Passage 1: "Like wandering Jews, Mexicans had no true home but the tabernacle of memory." pg. 48
- Passage 2: "Mexicans live in superstitious fear of the American diaspora...In it's male in it's public, in its city aspect, Mexico is an archtransvestite, a tragic buffoon." Pg. 61 (Archtransvestite: "The arch-transvestite personifies the trajectory of a group of transsexuals in Brazil: usually expelled from home or rejected by their families at a young age, they are practically forced into prostitution as the only form of livelihood." [Via Encontros da imagem 2011.] Mexico has expelled its children and forced them to "prostitute themselves to the gringo."
The concepts relate to one another and work to support the overall topic.
Through the use of words like tu and usted, Rodriguez introduces the private and public self of the Mexican emmigrant and the Mexican immigrant and the way they affect and interact with the American southwest. When talking about migrations affecting the way Mexicans imagine themselves in a new land, Mexicans associates memory with the Mexican mother land and that memory becomes the imagined home/diaspora of Mexican Americans.
Themes: Relating to Mexico
* Immigrating Vs. Emigrating
* Present Vs. Memory
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Yolanda Lopez, "Who's the Illegal Alien, Pilgrim?"
1978, National Museum of Mexican Art Permanent Collection
Judith Baca,"Division of the Barrios and Chavez Ravine"
1983, segment of the Great Wall of Los Angeles
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Hola a tod@s and welcome back.
The blog has been on hiatus since I haven't been teaching. And this year/semester, I'm using it for a slightly different purpose as well. I'll post songs, images, and videos that my Intro to Mexican American Studies class will be "reading" alongside the literature. But I'll also continue using the space to comment on my own research and teaching.
Alongside Corky Gonzales's "I am Joaquin" and Lorna Dee Cervantes' "Under the Freeway," I'd like to consider the impact of imagery--signs, symbols, visual art--on contested public space. One of the first images we'll be considering in this light is Wayne Healy's "Ghosts of the Barrio." This image, from Flickr, is also available at USC's Digital Library, where you can zoom in to see details.