Literature Program
 


Friday, April 13, 2012 at 4:00 p.m.

FREE

UB Humanities Institute presents

Ramon Soto-Crespo

Scholars at Hallwalls Lecture Series



Associate Professor, Dept. of American Studies

Biotropics: The Biopolitics of Sexual Identity in Latino American Writing, is an interdisciplinary study by Ramon Soto-Crespo of male-male sexual practices in Spanish America, the Anglophone Caribbean, and among Latino groups in the U.S. Building on scholarship produced in anthropology, sociology, medicine, history, cinema, art, and gender studies, "Primitive Futures" focuses on the bugarrón, an anomalous sexual type in Latino American culture. It compares anthropological and health-related studies of HIV transmission, and it shows how state agencies tackle the epidemic by conceptualizing sexual practice in Westernized terms of identity. Rather than understanding the bugarrón as an identity, I suggest that it be understood in Foucaultian terms as a site of struggle over the politics of life and death at the time of the AIDS pandemic in Latino America. "Primitive Futures" thus examines literary and cinematic representations of this figure during the cultural phase of its attempted extermination.

 
 
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Laylah Ali
Paintings and Drawings


Laylah Ali's work explores power dynamics and interpersonal conflict through compositions that position culturally, racially and sexually ambiguous figures in precarious, loaded, and unexpectedly humorous situations. Ali uses concise—even minimal—imagery that is specific in rendering and intent. While there are narratives in Ali's work, they are stories whose open spaces often give them the atmosphere of fables.