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Latinx Graduate Speaker Series: The Orient in Mexican imaginary: Orientalism and hybrid identities in contemporary Mexico

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Time: Monday, September 17, 2018 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Location: Ohio Staters Inc. Founders Room Ohio Union

This series, provides a space for Latinx Graduate Students to share their research with the Latinx community. 

Graduate Speaker: Veronica Torres, from the Spanish and Potuguese Department.

The Orient in Mexican imaginary: Orientalism and hybrid identities in contemporary Mexico

 

Abstract: My project participates in the current debate regarding Mexican Orientalism and Postcolonial studies in Mexican literature. I seek to point out how the Orient and Muslims have served in some instances as a point of reference in Mexican cultural consciousness regarding the conception of national identity and citizenship. In literary works, I analyze two tendencies: i) the exoticization of the Orient and Orientals for the construction of a Mexican identity and for the delineation of Mexican citizenship; and ii) the representation of the Orient as a source of hybrid identities that challenge the conception of mestizaje as the hegemonic definition of Mexicanness. Orientalist representations in literary works often portray “Orientals” as “others,” intruders on Mexican society, and therefore, exclude them from the imaginary of the nation. In other instances, the Orient and the Oriental woman are objects of never-ending sexual desire, and serve to construct the Western, cosmopolitan identity of a Mexican male subject- consumer. In contrast,  other literary works see the Orient as a basis of hybrid identities without exoticization that exemplify the heterogeneity and complexity of contemporary Mexican society.

 

Indra Leyva
Multicultural Center, Ohio Union , Suite 1000, 1739 N. High St.
leyva-santiago.1@osu.edu
614-688-8449

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