Vol. 5 No. 1 includes four articles, an interview with Rigoberta Menchú, and two book reviews, all dealing with the issue of identity and the effect of national and racial parameters upon its formation. Given this emphasis, the DeRLAS editors concluded that a more lengthy identification of the authors themselves would interest our readers and consequently we offer the following biographical portraits.
Florencia Ruth Carlino earned her doctorate at McGill University in 2003 and now is Assistant Professor in the Department of Modern Languages at Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. In her native Argentina she taught Spanish as a second language and served as International Consultant in the program assessment of Spanish Language Arts for the Argentine Ministry of Education/International Development Bank as well as in projects of the Canadian Embassy in Argentina. She has edited and published the collection of scholarly articles: Evaluación educacional: historia, problemas y propuestas (Buenos Aires: Aique, 1999) and draws upon her knowledge of the Argentine educational establishment to disclose many contradictions in its agenda.
Paul Cohen is Director of Graduate Studies and Professor of English at Texas State University. The recipient of numerous teaching awards, including NEH Distinguished Teaching Professorship in the Humanities (1996-99) and a Fulbright Fellowship for work in Ireland, he received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Rutgers University. In his article he relates Carlos Fuentes’ Terra Nostra to numerous works in the European and American literary traditions.
Nicole Roberts is Lecturer in Spanish in the Department of Liberal Arts, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. She introduces readers to several Caribbean poets and emphasizes the impact of racial identity upon their work.
Marta R. Zabaleta is a political refugee, given asylum in England after imprisonment in both Argentina and Chile. A senior lecturer and researcher, now retired from Middlesex University, Marta continues her social activism, insisting that readers recognize and protest the abuse of civil rights not only in Latin America but in the world over. In her account she provides a vivid description of how human memory functions in its assimilation of traumatic experience, especially the physical and psychological torture inflicted by government agents in Latin American dictatorships. Marta serves on the Editorial Board of Revista del Cesla (Center of Latin American Studies, University of Warsaw, Poland) and is the author of Feminine Stereotypes and Roles in Theory and Practice in Argentina Before and After the First Lady Eva Perón (Lewiston, N.Y.: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2000).
Jayson Ty Gonzales Sae-Saue is a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University in the Modern Thought and Literature Program, where he works with David Palumbo-Liu and Ramón Saldívar in ethnic third-world literary and cultural studies. Supplying the background of his interview with Rigoberta Menchú, Jayson refers readers to DeRLAS, Vol. 2, No. 2 where Jorge Rogachevsky and David Stoll published articles about her.
Ana Cristina Ferreira Pinto-Bailey is Visiting Assistant Professor at Texas State University, San Marcos. Born and raised in Brazil, where she earned a B.A. in English at the University of Brasilia, she received her M.A. and her Ph.D. (1989) in Brazilian and Spanish-American literatures from Tulane University. She has published a book of poetry, Poemas da vida meia (2002) as well as several articles on modern Latin American writers, including Clarice Lispector, Lygia Fagundes Telles, Antonio Callado, Jorge Luis Borges, Silvina Ocampo and Rubén Darío. This background and training serve her well in her perceptive review of Peter M. Beattie’s The Human Tradition in Modern Brazil.
América Martínez, founding editor of DeRLAS, is Assistant Professor at the University of Delaware, where she teaches courses both in Spanish language and literature and in world literature. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, América frequently leads groups of students in Delaware’s Study Abroad Programs, notably to Mérida, Mexico. She shares her extensive knowledge of Mexican culture and history with readers in her appreciative review of Aperture’s Mexico: The Revolution and Beyond: Photographs by Agustín Víctor Casasola 1900-1940.
(Latin American Studies Program, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, 2004-08-15) Cohen, Paul
Portraits constitute one of the three major classes of facial images. They are flanked by mirror images, usually near-perfect re-presentations of living faces, and by masks, typically meant to replace rather than reflect faces. Recent artists, writers, and theorists have frequently turned to mirrors and masks in considering the nature of portraiture. In Carlos Fuentes' Terra Nostra, all three classes, along with their combinations, provide Fuentes and his characters with a wide range of approaches along which they can explore the possibilities and meanings of representation itself.
(Latin American Studies Program, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, 2004-08-15) Carlino, Florencia
This article frames the main problems and challenges of state, provincial and jurisdictional-mandated assessment programs introduced in the early 1990s within the context of broader goals of the educational policy in Latin America and particularly in Argentina, which is considered as a paradigmatic case of such policies. The content of the article will be organized as follows. First, I will introduce two main conceptual frameworks which have been leading the scenario of the global educational policies in Latin America since the early 1990’s. Second, considering Argentina as a case study, I will characterize the recent educational reform, paying special attention to the role of the national testing system, and reviewing the criticism that this system received. I will also disclose the philosophical, political and pedagogical assumptions that this reform has been based upon and the contrasts with the leading principles accepted in the past. Third, I will suggest some elements that an alternative discourse and practice of public assessment program for Latin America should take into account in order to overcome the mistakes and critics of the described reform.
(Latin American Studies Program, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, 2004-08-15) Roberts, Nicole
“Hispanic” is an identification generally accepted in the Caribbean by both black and white residents of the islands. Examination of poems by several black Caribbean poets (the Puerto Ricans Mayra Santos Febres and Magaly Quiñones, the Dominicans Sherezada [Chiqui] Vicioso and Blas Jiménez, and the Cuban Escilia Saldaña) reveals how they use Spanish to communicate the life experience unique to black bearers of the cultural term “Hispanic.”
(Latin American Studies Program, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, 2004-08-15) Zabaleta, Marta R.
Se postula que los textos de mujeres sobrevivientes del terrorismo de estado que se presentan a modo de ejemplo, constituyen soportes importantes del proceso de reconstrucción de la memoria social del Cono Sur, al tiempo que su producción ayuda a sus narradoras a superar síndromes postraumáticos, y les otorgan la sensación de pertenecer a una nueva comunidad, etapa esta imprescindible en la recuperación de sus identidades desgarradas. La variedad de las formas estilísticas utilizadas cuestiona la esencia misma del canon literario y escapa a la lentitud de la crítica. La segunda parte ofrece un ejemplo concreto de este tipo de escritura, en el afán de reafirmar la necesidad de desechar la rigidez de la escritura científica tradicional firmemente centrada en el Hombre y adaptada a sus necesidades y dominación social genérica. Con dicho acto de transgresión se invita a repensar las diferencias entre lo así llamado escritura femenina, escritos feministas y textos de mujeres, etc., abogando por el respeto básico a las diferencias inmanentes a cada ser humano, que trascienden la pobreza implícita en aquellas propuestas teóricas que tratan de adaptar la interpretación de una realidad muy cambiante a marcos y normas teóricas preestablecidos, y que las más de las veces funcionan obscureciendo o paralizando la creación científica y /o la crítica literaria de las mujeres que escriben en cuanto mujeres.