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Posts under tag: Chicano Literature

February 22, 2018

García-Caro Publishes First Californio Drama

Astucias por heredar, un sobrino a un tío (1789) by Fermín de Reygadas has recently come out as an e-book available on different electronic formats. It is a critical, annotated, edition with a detailed introduction to the context, the author, and the provenance of this comedy. According to the oral and written sources surrounding its donation to the Bancroft collection (which forms the basis for UC Berkeley’s Library) by Californio historian Guadalupe Vallejo, Astucias was “the first drama performed in California after its foundation” as a Spanish colony in 1769.

García-Caro’s groundbreaking research has located the source of the play in Mexico, including the censorship files which had banned it from the Mexican stage in 1790, and has traced the likely place of its performance, in the secular Villa de Branciforte, in what is now Eastern Santa Cruz. This play is a Neoclassic comedy which clearly draws heavily from French and Italian sources but is profoundly familiar with Spanish literary traditions as well and completely adapted for a Hispano-Mexican audience. The fact that it remained in manuscript form and has never before been printed or published has meant that the text remained uncensored with all its original lines, which include a large number of improprieties that could have otherwise been lost along the way.

It is a rare find as we have relatively scant information and little textual evidence of the kind of cultural production that secular Hispanic settlers engaged in or brought with them as they populated the emerging network of villas and pueblos in what is now the US South West in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The play is now available through Arte Público Press, the preeminent publisher of contemporary Latino and Recovered US Hispanic Literature. Teatro Milagro in Portland took up Prof. García-Caro’s proposal to stage this original play and shows run February 9th to March 3rd in Spanish with English superscripts. Early reviews of the production are raving about the currency of the topics and the humorous exchanges, as well as the vibrancy of the language. The troupe of actors at Teatro Milagro comes from a diverse set of backgrounds from all over the Spanish-speaking Americas, and is working under the direction of commedia dell’arte expert Robi Arce, from Puerto Rico. Prof. García-Caro and theatre Director Robi Arce participated on February 16th in a roundtable at Portland State University, a recording is available here.

Watch Latino Network TV news on the play!

January 3, 2012

Ducks Read Books Banned in Arizona

The State of Arizona has passed legislation banning the Mexican American Ethnic Studies curriculum from state primary and secondary schools, and legislators are now targeting the state university system. The list of books banned from the schools includes many of the classics of US Latino literature, and even Shakespeare’s The Tempest. (See a list of banned books, coverage in Daily Beast on the ban and its effects).

A coalition of UO and community groups is coming together to show solidarity with the students and educators of Arizona and raise consciousness about the issue by giving a public reading of the banned works. A selection of the banned titles will be available for purchase from the Duck Store at the event.

This reading is organized by The Department of Romance Languages, and co-sponsored by the Departments of English, Ethnic Studies, Comparative Literature, Political Science, the Program in Latin American Studies, The Migration Project of the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, the Department of Education Studies of the College of Education, MEChA, and the Eugene Public Library.

All are invited to come hear, first hand, some of the texts that have been censored in Arizona’s schools. Readings will include selections from books by Howard Zinn, Sandra Cisneros, Junot Díaz, Gloria Anzaldúa, William Shakespeare, and others.

Media coverage of the May 1 (2012) event included a KLCC News interview and short spot with Prof. David Wacks, a feature in the Oregon Daily Emerald, a video interview in the Oregon Daily Emerald also with Wacks, a KEZI TV news feature, and photos from Dean Walton’s UO Campus Flickr photostream of Prof. Amalia Gladhart, Prof. Ernesto Martínez (Ethnic Studies and Women and Gender Studies), and the EMU Amphitheater.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012
EMU Amphitheater
, University of Oregon Campus (corner of E 13th and University)