Edgar Garcia Lecture: “Borderland Analepsis: Mesoamerican Unforgetting in Contemporary Migrations”

Date / Time

February 11, 2020 - February 11, 2020

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

This lecture is about forgetting and unforgetting, especially that kind of unforgetting (anamnesis) that is a necessary leap across colonial erasure and its enforced amnesia. What are the poetics of such leaps across erasure? And what are the social implications of such poiesis of unforgetting? In my research of the massive geoglyphs outside of Blythe, CA—in the Sonoran desert on the border with Arizona—I encountered a stunning example of such anticolonial leaping in the daring work of the “guardian of the glyphs” Alfredo Acosta Figueroa. In this lecture, I discuss Alfredo Acosta Figueroa’s work while tangling with its illuminating entanglement in Mesoamerican spatial and temporal frameworks.

Edgar Garcia is a poet and scholar of the hemispheric cultures of the Americas, principally of the 20th and 21st centuries. He is the author of Skins of Columbus: A Dream Ethnography (Fence Books, 2019; winner of the Fence Modern Poets Series award and an award from the Illinois Arts Council) and Signs of the Americas: A Poetics of Pictography, Hieroglyphs, and Khipu (University of Chicago Press, 2020; article excerpt honorable mention for the William Riley Parker Prize from the Modern Language Association); and he co-edited American Literature in the World: An Anthology from Anne Bradstreet to Octavia Butler (Columbia University Press, 2016); and participated in a collaboration with visual artist Eamon Ore-Giron, published as Infinite Regress (Bom Dia Books, 2020). He is presently working on two books: one about divination and migration and the other on the Mayan story of creation, the Popol Vuh. He is Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of English at the University of Chicago, where he also teaches in the department of Creative Writing.

Organized by the UIC Mesoamerican Worldview and Intellectual Tradition Working Group.

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