Borderlands and Latino/a Studies Seminar Book Discussion with Author Desirée A. Martín | Newberry

Borderlands and Latino/a Studies Seminar Book Discussion with Author Desirée A. Martín

Borderlands Saints: Secular Sanctity in Chicano/a and Mexican Culture, Desirée A. Martín
Friday, January 16, 2015

3 pm - 5 pm

B-92

Center for American History and Culture Programs
Borderlands and Latino/a Studies Seminar

This January the Borderlands and Latino/a Studies Seminar community will welcome Desirée A. Martín as we discuss her text Borderlands Saints: Secular Sanctity in Chicano/a and Mexican Culture (2013).

Robert Orsi, Northwestern University, and Chris Tirres, DePaul University, will comment on the text.

“In Borderlands Saints, Desirée A. Martín examines the rise and fall of popular saints and saint-like figures in the borderlands of the United States and Mexico. Focusing specifically on Teresa Urrea (La Santa de Cabora), Pancho Villa, César Chávez, Subcomandante Marcos, and Santa Muerte, she traces the intersections of these figures, their devotees, artistic representations, and dominant institutions with an eye for the ways in which such unofficial saints mirror traditional spiritual practices and serve specific cultural needs.

Popular spirituality of this kind engages the use and exchange of relics, faith healing, pilgrimages, and spirit possession, exemplifying the contradictions between high and popular culture, human and divine, and secular and sacred. Martín focuses upon a wide range of Mexican and Chicano/a cultural works drawn from the nineteenth century to the present, covering such diverse genres as the novel, the communiqué, drama, the essay or crónica, film, and contemporary digital media. She argues that spiritual practice is often represented as narrative, while narrative—whether literary, historical, visual, or oral—may modify or even function as devotional practice.”

Praise

“Addressing religion, spirituality and sanctity in Chicana/o culture, Borderlands Saints makes a significant contribution to a burgeoning area that demands critical attention.”


—Carl Gutiérrez-Jones, University of California, Santa Barbara

Cost and Registration Information 

No RSVP required; all are warmly invited to attend.