Workshop: Concerning Violence: A Decolonial Collaborative Research Group
Meeting Description: Faculty and students are invited to join Yuri Herrera in a reading of excerpts from Signs Preceding the End of the World, followed by an open discussion and reflection on the force of his writing, and how it re-imagines contemporary formations of migration, violence, and subjection in Mexico, Latin America, the United States, and beyond.
We will consider questions and themes, such as: How to represent violence without reproducing violence? What does the construction of a female epic border character teach us about the lives and deaths of migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border and other border zones, and about what Herrera has described as the “border condition” more broadly? How may fiction help us understand the experience of disorientation and disillusionment that seems to characterize the contemporary Latin American moment, where progressivist narratives and emancipatory rhetoric seem to have lost their force? May the recuperation of Indigenous knowledge through innovative aesthetic approaches reinvigorate a common purpose for the continent without appeals to old nationalist—and often racist and exclusionary—imagined communities?
Yuri Herrera, professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Tulane University, is one of Mexico’s leading contemporary novelists. His first novel translated into English, "Signs Preceding the End of the World" (And Other Stories, 2015), was received with impressive critical acclaim and listed as Best-of-Year work in The Guardian’s Best Fiction, among others. It went on to win the 2016 Best Translated Book Award. Yuri Herrera has since published two other novels in English, The Transmigration of Bodies and Kingdom Cons.