Borderlands and Latino Studies Seminar: Marissa Lopez, University of California, Los Angeles and Jonathon Rosa, University of Chicago

Borderlands and Latino Studies Seminar
Thursday, February 18, 2010

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

“¿soy emo, y qué? sad kids, punkera dykes and the Latino public sphere
Marissa López, University of California, Los Angeles

In March and April of 2008, the world witnessed the violent, physical attacks on emo youth in Mexico and Latin America.  Commentators wondered what emo was, why it appeared in Mexico and Latin America, and why people responded so violently to it.  This paper approaches a similar set of questions.  Tracing a route from Morrissey?s passionate Latino fans, to Mexico?s emo youth, to Myriam Gurba?s queer, punk short fiction, I ask how emo travels, and how these public performances of affect speak to the intersections of race and gender in 21st century Latino and Latin American youth culture.

“I heard that Puerto Ricans are Latino and Mexicans are Hispanic”: EthnoRacial Contortions in a Chicago High School
Jonathon Rosa, University of Chicago

This paper analyzes the ways in which “at risk” Mexican and Puerto Rican students in a hyper-segregated Chicago public high school become and un-become Latina/o. That is, what are the ways in which students learn and unlearn Puerto Rican, Mexican, and Latina/o difference? These experiences of socialization and differentiation take place in relation to a school-based governmental project of subject-making, a community-based history of social networks, and the circulation of popular cultural images among school actors. Whereas previous research emphasizes Puerto Rican-Mexican difference by positioning it as a straightforward object of contention by which some actors draw on citizenship status to exercise privilege and power over others, this paper moves beyond these approaches by analyzing the creation of shared Latina/o identities through institutional, ideological, and interactional mechanisms that redefine Puerto Rican and Mexican difference.