Lecture: Borinkee’ in Hawai’i and the Work of Rodney Morales

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In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, the Center for Multicultural Affairs, and the Appreciating Races Creating Opportunities Club (ARCO) present a lecture by Dr. Maritza Stanchich (University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras), “Borinkee’ in Hawai’i: Rodney Morales Rides the Diaspora Wave to Trans-Regional Imperial Struggle.” The lecture will be held on Wednesday, October 7, 2009, from 7:00 to 8:30pm at the Black Box Theater (Fontaine 101), Marist College.

Dr. Stanchich’s presentation will examine Hawai’i-based author Rodney Morales in “a post-Nuyorican, greater Puerto Rico rubric” within the framework of broader displacements. She explains, “While Morales’ local politics and poetics is marked by a regional cosmopolitanism referred to in Asia Pacific Studies as Pacific Rim, his work also participates in Puerto Rican diaspora literary traditions, and traces its history to what Eric Williams called the U.S. Sugar Kingdom in the Caribbean and Hawai’i. Linguistically and geographically post-Nuyorican, Morales expands the linguistic panorama with local Hawaiian language practices and historical parallels to U.S. English imposition in Puerto Rico.” Stanchich will explore trans-regional thematic affinities in his novel When the Shark Bites (2002) and the short story collection Speed of Darkness (1988) to question why Puerto Rican studies often overlooks Morales’s work and to place it within a larger literary and historical continuum.

A former journalist, Stanchich holds an MA in English and Humanities from the University of Puerto Rico and a PhD in Literature from the University of California in Santa Cruz, California. She teaches 19th and 20th century U.S. literatures, Caribbean literatures, U.S. Latina/o and diasporic Puerto Rican literature at the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras.

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