Graduate Student Colloquium Series: Ana Baginski
The first Comparative Literature graduate student colloquium for winter quarter will be held Tuesday, February 25th at 1:00 pm in HIB 246. Below is an abstract of the introduction to Ana’s dissertation:
What constitutes the unity of a place, if not the determination of its limits? Critics, writers, and theorists have turned to the “regional” as a source of specificity, authenticity and historicity. Regional rigor is meant to provide both a groundedness and universality to literary texts. This value has been appealing to writers and critics in the Californias over the 20th century as a way to push back on market-driven categorizations of genre from the narco-crime novel in Tijuana to frontier and border lit to “multicultural” poetry in the Bay Area. In this presentation of the introduction to my dissertation, I will consider how regional thought acts as a supplement to disciplinary and political contradictions. In the Californias, where historical progress is imagined abridged and accelerated – Alta California wasn’t a slave state and so doesn’t bear the same burden of historical guilt, Baja California was “peacefully” conquered by missionaries rather than by military violence and the colonial and revolutionary institutions which followed elsewhere – these histories, of slavery and of conquest, are nevertheless found by contemporary writers in the local topography, in the very soil.