Thursday, October 29, 2009

American Studies Association Meeting 2009

What up mi gente!  My apologies for slacking on new posts, I've been busy applying for a certain national fellowship due on on November 2nd (you know who you are!) and preparing a paper for submission to a journal.  All and all I have no life outside of the confines of NYU's Bobst Library.  

I will however be venturing out into the world for the American Studies Association annual meeting being held in Washington DC from November 5-8.  Because this years conference is in DC my number one priority will be pigging out at the famous Ben's Chili Bowl -- YUM!

I'm not presenting, but I do want to shout out some of the amazing panels at this years conference.  So if you're planing on attending or you're in the area, be sure to check out these panels:

Under the Influence: Affective Historiographies of Queer Nightlife (Panelists: Karen Tongson, Lucas Hilderbrand, Ricardo Montez, and Homay King)
Time: Thursday, Nov. 5 @ 2pm, Building: The Renaissance DC Hotel, Room: Meeting Room 15

The queer past is comprised not only of communities but also of scenes—sites for nocturnal congregation centered on entertainment, art, dancing and elixirs. These queer scenes have often been underground, short-lived, and as fickle as fashion; they are also, historically, local in a way that is perhaps forgotten in an era when it seems that queer culture is all the same, regardless of the place.  This panel thus looks to queer nightlife scenes in a range of venues—from the Factory, to the Farm (Knott’s Berry Farm), to Max’s Kansas City and beyond—as productive sites that revise established narratives of queer history, and the telos of gay liberation. We seek collectively to reconceptualize 20th-century queer publics vis a vis localized nighttime amusements, in order to provide alternative, perhaps even more affective accounts of queer life in the recent past.

Salseras, Tortilleras, and Alien Invaders: Practices of Queer Latina Belonging (Panelists: Deborah Paredez, Melissa M. M. Hidalgo, and Stacy I Macias)
Time: Friday, Nov. 6 @ 8am, Building: The Renaissance DC Hotel, Room: Meeting Room 10

This panel explores how Latina cultural production-from staged performances and visual art to leisure dance forms like salsa-operates as an indispensable practice for queer Latina modes of belonging. Notions of belonging are critical to formulations of latinidad precisely because of the ways the concept is simultaneously flattened within global contexts as a homogenous market segment or voting bloc even while, for many Latina/os, alliances across latinidad's spectrum are often fraught by divisions across categories of nation, region, gender, and sexuality. In light of this conundrum, how do Latinas as cultural producers achieve, however fleetingly, or mark the limitations of belonging both within and beyond this context? Moreover, how do these performative practices queer prevailing understandings of Latina/o belonging within the United States? And what is it about artistic and embodied practice—as cultural process, product, and investigative method—that enables and/or delimits the possibilities of belonging? The papers on this panel take up these questions by documenting and analyzing cultural products, practices and the laboring Latina bodies that create them in efforts to mark and disrupt the often over-determined conditions of belonging within gendered constructs of latinidad.

Counter Citizenships in Latino Music (Panelists: Gema R. Guevara, Melissa Blanco Borelli, Licia Fiol-Matta, and Gaye Theresa Johnson)
Time: Friday, Nov. 6 @ 4pm, Building: The Renaissance DC Hotel, Room: Meeting Room 15

“Counter Citizenships in Latino Music” is an interdisciplinary panel featuring four multi-sited music analyses that utilize feminist, critical race, film, and queer studies theories to examine gender, sexuality and race as systematic forces of power that constitute formations of citizenship and belonging. Specifically, each of the presentations point to unique musical articulations of counter citizenship formations by being attentive to the nuanced performance, stylistic, and lyrical acts of Latina/o artists. With topics ranging from dance to voice— within regional, cross-border, and transnational music sites—each presenter uniquely argues for alternative modes of belonging that are counter to governing configurations of US as well as Latino citizenship produced through discourses of racial authenticity, homonormativity, and geo-political territoriality.

Promesa y Peligro: Dominican Narrations of Representation, Identity, and (Trans) National Belonging (Panelists: Lorgia Garcia-Peña, Carlos Decena, Afia Ofori-Mensa, and Light Carruyo)
Time: Saturday, Nov. 7 @12pm, Building: The Renaissance DC Hotel, Room: Meeting Room 10

This panel will explore questions of citizenship and belonging, departing from the specificity of Dominican transnational experiences. Our purpose is to de-center conventional notions of Americanness, which have historically—both inside and outside academia--been centered on the United States. At the same time, this panel proposes new ways of examining the historical and rhetorical tensions that exist between and within different forms of belonging. Through the analysis of historical documents (such as legal cases and military memos), print media, films, literature and oral interviews, our panel will engage a variety of marginalized Dominican subjects: the santero, the sex worker, the Haitian immigrant, and the “loca” (effeminate flamboyant homosexual man), to mention a few, in order to look at how certain practices and rituals have helped construct and sustain communities even at times of crisis. The panel departs from a historical analysis of important 20th century events that inform notions of national belonging for Dominicans on the island as well as in the Diaspora, concluding with a thoughtful discussion of current Dominican (island and abroad) communities and their role in fashioning, establishing and legitimating notions of civil and cultural belonging.

On the Unlikely Queer Subject (Panelists: Marcia Ochoa, Heather Love, and Sharon Holland)
Time: Sunday, Nov. 8 @ 8am, Building: The Renaissance DC Hotel, Room: Grand Ballroom South

This panel brings together papers from scholars in sexuality studies from various disciplines (Cultural Anthropology, Communication, English, and African American Studies) to speak about Unlikely Queer Subjects. As the conference theme is "Practices of Citizenship, Sustainability and Belonging," the panel takes up at least two of these categories by thinking about what kinds of belonging, and what practices of "citizenship" (especially through the category of the human) are at work when we consider different queer subjects. These papers try to think through several discursive locations for queer subjects. In many cases, the papers travel through the space of death – either with subjects or through the end(s) of human history – to re-think not only queer studies choice of object, but also about the ways in which we understand how that subject moves through (queer) time and space. Two of the papers here extend the call for "no future" in queer studies to those subjects who figuratively or literally inhabit the space of the dead, while the third paper attempts to remake the supposed nihilism of queer fashion as a creative politic. The panel ultimately challenges prevailing notions of non-reproductive being as always already an index of queer theorizing. One of the papers here speaks directly to the deaths of transgendered persons that occurred in the nation's capital in 2003.

Monday, October 19, 2009

"That's Gay"... No Homo

Thanks to Roberto "Tito" Soto-Carrion and Shirley Arceo for this gem. Damn, it seems like "no homo" is blowing up the media. It's interesting considering "no homo" has been around for like 5 or 6 years now. Craziness.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mayor of San Juan calls Residente Calle 13 a "Tecato"

The government is responding to Residente’s comments about the governor during the MTV Premios Latino by cracking down on his chances to address the public.  The Mayor of San Juan, Jorge Santini, recently canceled the Coors Light Circotic show that Calle 13 was supposed to appear at on October 31st at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente.  Santini said he was compelled to do this as  punishment for Residente's comments.  What did "Ley 7" affect free speech too?

In response to Residente’s insult Fortuno responded not by addressing the lay-offs and "Ley 7” but by speaking about how Residente, and musica urbana more generally, disrespect the women of Puerto Rico. Santini went so far as to call Residente a “tecato” [junkie].  In this way the conservative forces of Puerto Rico have attempted to use a discourse of concern for women and feminist agendas, in addition to attempts to marry musicia urbana to drugs and drug use, in order to avoid actually having to answer for the effects of neoliberalism on Puerto Ricans and the growing discontent among many sectors of the population.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Calle 13 on the Oct. 15 General Strike in Puerto Rico

“América Latina no está completa sin Puerto Rico y Puerto Rico no es libre. Hoy 15 de octubre los puertorriqueños marcharon contra el desempleo, porque el gobernador de Puerto Rico los dejo sin trabajo y el gobernador de Puerto Rico es un hijo de la gran p…. Yo lo puedo decir porque sé y porque tengo influencia. Hoy los puertorriqueños estamos de pie”.

Now in English... "Latin American is not complete with out Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico isn't free. Today, October 15th, Puerto Ricans took to the streets to march against lay-offs because the Governor of Puerto Rico has left us without work, and the governor is a son of a bitch ...I can say this because I know, and I have influence. Today the Puerto Ricans take a stand.

Calle 13, who co-hosted the Premios MTV Latino last night, wore a shirt that read: “Viva Puerto Rico Libre” as he delivered his insult to Governor Luis Fortuño. Previously he had had on shirts that read: “Chávez nominado mejor artista pop” (seen above) and “Mercedes Sosa sonara x100pre”.

Source: Wikiton

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Comprendes El Berry?: A Note From L.A.

What up mi gente?! The UCLA Queer Studies Conference 2009 just wrapped up and it was fantastic. Thanks to all the people who made it out to our panel, "The Queer Vicissitudes of Hip Hop Expressive Culture."

As a New Yorker I find L.A. to be a bit of a strange town, there's smog, cars everywhere, and a "reggaeton station" that plays like 2 reggaeton songs per hour. I can't front on L.A.'s food scene though... Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles was like a religious experience. Nonetheless, L.A. was uncanny and my experience is summed up by the song "Watagatapitusberry."

Apparently I had missed the magical nonsense that is "Watagatapitusberry" while I was in NYC. As soon as we were on our way to the hotel from LAX we turned on Latino 96.3 and heard "Watagatapitusberry ."

This song only added to my L.A.- induced disorientation and confusion. What kind of madness was this? Every time I turned on the radio without fail the song came on and I only grew more confused. I mean, seriously, wtf is a "Watagatapitusberry" anyway? I'm still not cienporciento sure, but what ever "Watagatapitusberry" is its magical, silly, weird, and fungible. Check out all the different YouTube fan videos dedicated to this song.

This video is probably the most famous and has been circulating around the web for a while, inciting some questions about the queerness of the performance...

There are a ton of homosocial buddy videos of dudes just wildin' out together to "watagatapitusberry," like the ones below...

There are also a handful of videos of young women getting down and lipsyncing to the song...

A little co-ed number...

And last but certainly not least, watagatapitusberry para ninos....

I don't know what it all means but if you ask me how was L.A. I might respond "Watagatapitusberry" (QUE?!)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Punketon Dominicano

What up mi gente!? Long time no blog, but I'm back with this gem... Skeem ft. Lapiz Conciente: "Tirense Too!!"

This video is SO layered, really dope.

I'm always on the prowl for what I'm calling "Punketon," reggaeton videos and songs that integrate significant rock/punk aesthetics and sounds. So Naldo's new album and the video for "No Existen Detalles" and Musicologo's "Llamdo de Emergencia" definitely are good examples. This video falls into the Punketon category (although uneasily since both Skeem and Lapiz are rappers, but both dabble in Dominican reggaeton).

This video is so interesting to me because its layered with all these musical mezclas. This is a rock-rap/reggaeton-fusion performed by two Dominicanos who sing in English and Spanish and throw in Jamaican slang for good measure. Reggaeton's socio-sonic-circuitry indeed!

If this is the future trajectory of reggaeton, or musica urbana, or whatever bring it on!!!