Thursday, June 02, 2005

Addendum to comments on Pablo Vila's - Crossing Borders

"My grave will be the fathomless air; my body will sink endlessly and decay and dissolve in the wind generated by the fall, which is infinite" - Borges (The Library of Babel)


"he's real, you can touch him. And he'll say 'dude!' "
- Dave Band 3-01-05

Here is an addendum to the short piece I wrote on the Vila book :

Early on, the influence of the "post" project in this realm seems to have tended towards notions of a "hybrid" border identity. More recently, scholars such as Pablo Vila have moved in the direction of multiplicity, and "narrative" identities. Following fashionable trends in academic discourse, scholars from multiple disciplines have mounted a critique of the "post" project as originally manifest in the social sciences. In the border context, Claudia Sadoswki-Smith's collection of essays cuts across many disciplines and offers illuminating insights. The idea seems to be to expose the post-structuralist approach as politically impotent, and intellectually static. The idea of the hybrid, transitional border subject is said to de-politicize, while paying lip service to cultural flux as an emancipatory possibility. Vila's approach does not seems to fall into this trap, despite his seemingly uninformed invocation of Derrida, Baudrillard, and others. He has tried to make his interviewees more aware of the narrative structure of their identity, with the goal of bringing them closer to their respective "others". Here lies the possibility of political action, community, and change.

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