Humanities Decanted: Violentologies: Violence, Identity, and Ideology in Latina/o Literature

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Ben Olguín

April 22, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 4:45 pm


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Free to attend; registration required to receive Zoom webinar attendance link

Join us online for a dialogue between Ben Olguín (English, UCSB) and María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo (Social and Cultural Analysis, NYU) about Olguín’s new book, Violentologies: Violence, Identity, and Ideology in Latina/o Literature. Audience Q&A will follow.

Violentologies: Violence, Identity, and Ideology in Latina/o Literature, explores how various forms of violence undergird a wide range of Latina/o subjectivities, or Latinidades, from 1835 to the present. Drawing upon the Colombian interdisciplinary field of violence studies known as violentología, which examines the transformation of Colombian society during a century of political and interpersonal violence, this book adapts the neologism “violentology” as a heuristic device and epistemic category to map the salience of violence in Latina/o history, life, and culture in the U.S. and globally. Based on one hundred primary texts and archival documents from an expansive range of Latina/o communities – and featuring multiple generations of Latinx combatants, wartime non-combatants, and “peacetime” civilians – Violentologies articulates a contrapuntal assessment of the inchoate, contradictory, and complex range of violence-based Latina/o ontologies and epistemologies, and corresponding negotiations of power, or ideologies, pursuant to an expansive and meta-critical Pan-Latina/o methodology and, ultimately, an anti-identitarian Post-Latina/o paradigm.

Ben Olguín is the Robert and Liisa Erickson Presidential Chair in English, and Director of the Global Latinidades Project, at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University, and is a Ford Postdoctoral Fellow, and National Endowment for the Humanities Faculty Research Fellow. In addition to articles published in Cultural Critique, American Literary History, Aztlán, Frontiers, Biography, MELUS, and Nepantla, Olguín is the author of La Pinta: Chicana/o History, Culture, and Politics (University of Texas Press, 2010).

María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo is a Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis in the College of Arts and Science at New York University. She is the author of Indian Given: Racial Geographies across Mexico and the United States (Duke University Press, 2016); Des/posesión: Género, territorio y luchas por la autodeterminación (PUEG-UNAM, 2014); Aunt Lute’s Anthology of U.S. Women’s Writing, Volume II (Aunt Lute Press, 2008); The Revolutionary Imagination in the Americas and the Age of Development (Duke University Press, 2003). Saldaña-Portillo is the recipient of numerous accolades, including Casa de Las Americas Literary Prize for the Best Book in Studies of Latinos in the United States; John Hope Franklin Prize for Best Book in American Studies from the American Studies Association; Best Book Award from the National Association for Chicano and Chicana Studies.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Harry Girvetz Memorial Endowment


April 22, 2021
4:00 pm - 4:45 pm
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(805) 893-3907
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