Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Visiting Researcher talk

Tuesday 14 May 2013
4pm - 5pm
GEE 215
George Eliot, Clifton campus

The Gay City, globalization and localization:
First formations of a ‘Glocal’ gay identity in Mexico City in Luis Zapata’s El vampiro de la Colonia Roma
Andrés Aluma-Cazorla
University of Illinois at Chicago
The aftermath of the Stonewall riots in New York in 1969 has contributed to the production, over the last 40 years, of a sexual revolution that has significantly impacted modern western societies. Countries with very conservative backgrounds have witnessed the production of a wide range of aesthetical works inspired by the LGBT movement, which has accelerated the transformation of the social, political and cultural scenes of these societies at the end of the twentieth century and beginning of the new millennium. This “homosexual revolution” has been taking place primarily in the large urban centers of this hemisphere, and hence the narratives that deal with homosexuality have a very strong tie with the cities in which these stories are taking place. In regards to the Spanish-speaking world, Mexico City is considered to be the largest urban center in Latin America, and therefore, as a massive source of countless stories based of an extensive variety of personal and collective experiences. Despite being a capital city with a majority catholic and conservative population, it is perhaps its megalopolis status that has allowed it to be one of the largest centers of gay literary production in the region.
In this paper, I aim to identify the ways in which the “global” and the “local” coalesce in the formation of a gay identity in 1970s Mexico City in Luis Zapata’s El vampiro de la Colonia Roma (1979) where the author links gender construction and sexual identities in some of the city’s most representative neighborhoods.  As we will see, this is due in part to the resonance caused by the Stonewall riots, which helped foster the development of a gay culture in one of the most traditional colonias of Mexico City. Drawing on the work of Roland Robertson (“Glocalization: Time-Space and Homogeneity-Heterogeneity”, 1995) and Carlos Monsiváis (Apocalipstick, 2009), I argue that Zapata’s work contributed to the generation of a local gay identity in Mexico City, thanks to the social, economical, and historical context of the time, and the global changes that the homosexual movement spurred during the 1970s.  In sum, this confluence of forces in Mexico helped to produce one of the first manifestations of a gay visibility and identity in Latin America, represented through literature.  
For any queries – please email: Denis Provencher


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