LSGS Affiliated Faculty Weigh in on LatinX Term
Claudia Milian, current LSGS Director and Associate Professor of Romance Studies, and Antonio Viego, Associate Professor of Literature, provide their scholarly takes in the August 2017 special issue of the journal Cultural Dynamics. This volume covers the topic of "Theorizing LatinX," and looks into the cultural and political representations of the LatinX category and its widespread dissemination.
The forum’s range of interlocutors–Russell Contreras, a journalist for The Associated Press; María DeGuzmán, Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director of the Latina/o Studies Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Patricia Engel, author of three books of fiction, Vida, It's Not Love, It's Just Paris, and The Veins of the Ocean, as well as Literary Editor at the Miami Rail; R. Galvan, an independent artist; Nicole Guidotti-Hernández, Associate Professor of American Studies and Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at The University of Texas at Austin; Claudia Milian; Richard T. Rodríguez, Associate Professor of Media and Cultural Studies and English at the University of California, Riverside; and Antonio Viego–differently approach and account for the exteriority, variability, and visibility of the X. The contributors' in-depth reflections and inquiries provide a provocative intellectual background for this term through conceptual exploration, fiction, the American headline, art, and the literary imagination.
Professor Viego's article, "LatinX and the Neurologization of Self," investigates "the question of 'LatinX' through debates in affective and critical neuroscience regarding the 'neurologization of self' that many theorists claim we are experiencing today. This exploration takes Oliver Sacks’ case study, 'The Autist’s Artist,' as its centerpiece and traces how the figure of 'José' is 'narrativized as an autistic subject. The paper asks how we might understand 'José' as a 'LatinX' subject."
Professor Milian, who guest edits the "Theorizing LatinX" volume, focuses on the instability of the "Latin" and "X" matter. Her introductory article, "Extremely Latin, XOXO: Notes on LatinXi," examines the revelations, occlusions, and connections that are happening with this new signifier.