From talks

Vatos in Space: The Lowrider as Science Fiction

For working-class and working-poor Chicanos who don’t have the means or concrete opportunities for advanced technical education, lowriding is hacking a la mexicana, a practice that speculates on the meanings and functions of the American automobile, transforming it into a Mexican spaceship.

In Defense of Science Fiction

Literary critics can only develop more or less persuasive instruction manuals that recommend to reading communities why certain texts should be read together as a genre, how they should be read, and why it matters.

Urban Apocalypse in Film

One of the greatest oddities in the cultural history of American cities is the frequency—and relish—with which they have been cinematically destroyed. To be sure, while no sane person truly wants cities to be wiped out, American (and global) audiences are nonetheless exhilarated by their cinematic destruction.  A small sample of these visions of earthquakes, floods, monsters, aliens, nuclear wars, tornadoes, and tsunamis will play silently throughout my talk. I hope it will illustrate some of my claims and give you a sense of the sheer spectacle, relentlessness, and terrible fun of the city’s end in cinema. How can we…