Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Lou Dobbs recent rantings have SDSU PRESS Intern Whitney Black holding forth on Nuria Vilanova's BORDER TEXTS: WRITING FICTIONS FROM NORTHERN MEXICO

Previous CNN anchor Lou Dobbs has risen up a controversial opinion on that of immigration. Reports from FAIR: Fairness in reporting and accuracy, " Dobbs' tone on immigration is consistently alarmist; he warns his viewers (3/31/06) of Mexican immigrants who see themselves as an "army of invaders" intent upon reannexing parts of the Southwestern U.S. to Mexico, announces (11/19/03) that "illegal alien smugglers and drug traffickers are on the verge of ruining some of our national treasures," and declares (4/14/05) that "the invasion of illegal aliens is threatening the health of many Americans" through "deadly imports" of diseases like leprosy and malaria. And Dobbs makes no effort to provide a nuanced or balanced picture of the issue; as he told CNN Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz (4/2/06): "I'm not interested—are you interested in six or seven views, or are you interested in the truth? Because that's what I'm interested in; that's what my viewers are interested in." When did we give one man the power to decide our truth? Personally, I AM interested in six or seven views, I AM interested in formulating my own opinion and definition of the truth and I resent his arrogance in assuming that his opinions are "truth".

Nuria Vilanova presents a more compassionate articulation of the issues concerning our borders through her compilation of essays in Border Texts. Vilanova’s experiences living in Mexico City between 1993 and 1998 shaped her examination in creating this novel, she writes, “I have come to realize that my attraction to borders translated into a certain love of the temporality and excitement of living between cultures, peoples, symbols, and territories”. Using fiction produced in the area of Northern Mexico, Vilanova takes a Mexican Point of View in analyzing the relationship between the Mexico-U.S. border. Her scrutinizing the use of the border’s physical entity in works of art and fiction from a society whose cultural perception is profoundly influenced by their associations with borders; Vilanova is able to illustrate how the idea of the border as a barrier influences the themes and work of artists, intellectuals and writers of the region. It is the application of physicality and emotion to the spatial entity of the border, with connotations of distress and violence, that allow Vilanova to uncover the relationship between the physical territory and symbolic representation in her work, Border Texts.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Noam Chomsky and the Gilmore Girls: As Tight as the JoBro’s Skinny Jeans

Noam Chomsky: professor, leftist thinker, creator of the Chomsky Hierarchy of Formal Languages, all around rabble rouser and... CW star?

That's right. Everyone's favorite anarchist philosopher was regularly featured on the CW's hit teen drama Gilmore Girls.

Take a look at these snippets:

Rory (refusing to dip fruit in her chocolate fondue): We're fondue purists, Grandma.
Lorelai: Yeah, we dip old school.
Emily: The government says you should have nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
Lorelai: Imperialist propaganda.
Rory: Noam Chomsky would agree.
Lorelai: I bet Noam doesn't dip fruit.

Or in a dramatic showdown between Rory Gilmore and the Senior Class President about the school rules on appropriate hemline lengths:

Francie: This is politics. If you've got a problem, tell it to Noam Chomsky.

Yes, folks. Chomsky's in, like Ed Hardy t-shirts or Megan Fox—but sexier. Well, not really, but he’s still this season’s must-have theorist.

Feeling a little worried that you’ll be the only one at your local sock hop without any delectable Noam tidbits to share? Wondering where you can find some Chomsky to chomp on before the next Open Mic Poetry Night at that indie coffee joint?

Look no further, because the SDSU Press has got you covered. With this:

More Trendy than Glitter Lip Gloss Even saying the title makes you seem smart! And it's only $6.95! For Real!

It’s written by Chomsky himself, my friends. Trust me, be the first kid on your block to score this, and you can turn up your nose at that girl down the street that managed to get tickets to the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Tour and has been lording it over you ever since (not that you wanted to go, anyway).

What are you waiting for? You can order it here! You know you want to.

P.S. Does anyone else think “Noam doesn’t dip fruit” would make a great t-shirt slogan?

Friday, October 09, 2009

In Memoriam: Raymond Federman

Brilliant novelist, poet and academic Raymond Federman passed away this week. The news left many shocked and saddened, but also disheartening is how few are familiar with his incredible work.

The man could write novels the equal of Beckett's (and I mean the Irish Nobel winner, not Federman's dalmatian). He could write a charged and evocative poem on the impossibility of putting the "human debacle" onto paper, or a half-insane poem about a potato turning into a tomato. A potato. Turning into a tomato. Now tell me that's not someone you must read.

Still not convinced? Just take a look at this excerpt from the definitive encyclopedia of all things Federman:

Have you ever tried to catch a Federman word on your tongue and hold it still? Force it to respond to your theoretical frame? Since such critical desires distort the Federmaniacal word and since so many Federmanesque writers are possessed by parachutal syntax, we tried to create a form that would perform Federman rather than be simply "about" Federman. Since Federman himself as a wearer of reversible jackets (i.e., a writer) is obsessed with lists, with cataloging, with mapping the terrain of intertextual repetitions (echoes blasted from beyond the thunderdome), (parenthetical digressions) outside the domain of quotation marks, we felt that an organization built on the basic premise of encyclopedia and infested with hypertextual hot bottoms would come closest to providing readers with their own Federman experience.

- Doug Rice, "Before Beginning" From Federman A to X-X-X-X: A Recyclopedic Narrative

I mean, come on.

It's quite a blow, losing Federman, and friends and fans around the world are mourning. Let's work to ensure a new generation discovers and falls in love with the work of this one-of-a-kind author.

To visit Federman's personal website, click here, and for his blog, click here.

To take a closer look at Federman, A to X-X-X-X, quoted above, click here.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New! Available from SDSU PRESS, Homer From Salinas: John Steinbeck's Enduring Voice for California

NEW! Now Available Via!

From April to May 2007, some of the most noted scholars and artists of American Literature, cultural studies, painting and photography, gathered at San Diego State University for “An Enduring Voice for California: A Celebration of John Steinbeck,” sponsored by the College of Arts and Letters, SDSU. Homer from Salinas: John Steinbeck’s Enduring Voice for California collects these lectures, screenings, debates, discussions, and artifacts into one handy volume that is a cross between old school “conference proceedings” and next-generation, Web 2.0 journalism. The result is a one-volume meditation on Steinbeck and California that leaves readers knowing more about the Nobel Prize-winning author and America’s singular, West Coast state. It includes pieces by Jeffrey Charles, Charles Wollenberg, William Deverell, Francisco X. Alarcón, Hernán Moreno-Hinojosa, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Fred Gardaphé, Arturo J. Aldama, Michael Harper, Joanna Brooks, Arthur Ollman, Louis Hock, Susan Shillingslaw, with an introduction by William Nericcio. Buy it direct from SDSU PRESS via for 14.95 (plus shipping).

One of the key elements of this book is its focus on John Steinbeck, Mexico, and Mexicans; there's a fine example of this interest in a film entitled The Forgotten Village (1941). Here's a clip--the 1st of 7 parts on YouTube:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sex sells.. Almost as well as laughs do!

Humor & Eroticism in Advertising, by Maria Cristina da Silva Martins, explores the role of sensual seduction in the workings of an advertising campaign. By closely analysing Brazilian magazine ads published in the 1980's, Martins uncovers the aesthetic, political, and cultural exchanges that take their form in ad space.

The producers of appreciate Martins' research findings. Check out this clip:

SDSU Press Brings Ana Castillo to San Diego State University With a Host of Other Cool Co-Sponsors!

Ana Castillo Comes to SDSU--SDSU Press helps make it happen

What could be more romantic? One of our authors, Oliver Mayer, tells what inspired him to write a play for the woman he loves.

Click on this text to be taken to the L.A. Times feature on Oliver Mayer's 'Dias y Flores.'

Monday, February 02, 2009

[in Spanish] Oliver Mayer, the focus our THE HURT BUSINESS, IN THE NEWS

You can get a copy of The Hurt Business, a work wholly focused on the writing of Oliver Mayer, right here! Or hit the Amazon logo, opposite!