Ciudad Juárez: Urban Art and Poetry

class presentations

The Digital Map of the Poetics of Hispanic American Literature project will create the digital cartography of a Hispanic American anthology literary work, and urban art, which will form an essential part of the curriculum in two of my Latin American Novel courses: SPAN 360: Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Mexican Literature and Popular Cultures, and SPAN 364: The Latin American Novel Within Its Revolutions, Cultures and Social Changes. Furthermore, since the digital map will eventually be housed on a website, researchers, faculty members and students from all over the world will be able to access it as a pedagogical and investigative tool. The book that will be the focus of the project is the anthology Sangre mía / Blood of Mine: Poetry of Border Violence, Gender and Identity in Ciudad Juárez that I co-edited with Professor Jennifer Rathbun from Ashland University, a book that I have been using in the aforementioned courses in order to teach on the US/Mexico border literature. This collection of poetry bring together the voices of fifthy-three authors, and artists, that best represent the poetic response to violence and feminicide in the US/Mexico border region which has marked, since the 1990s, an emergence of a literary, socially and politically compromised cultural work that has formed part of a socio-political, emotional as well as intellectual debate about the construction of feminine “Juarense” identity.

The pedagogical objective is to create, along with the students in the class and three research and technical assistant students, a digital cartography from an interactive and hermeneutical point of view, in other words, a literary text interpretation. The students and I, and with the support of the instructional technologist, will digitally format the literary analysis, including the collection of data extracted from the poems in Sangre mía / Blood of Mine, as well as digital images and videos of a current Urban Art Movement going on in Ciudad Juárez which includes poetry and graffiti, into a broad and elaborate interactive map which will detail events, historical characters, as well as places and other relevant historical information and news. By creating a digital map of Sangre mía / Blood of Mine, and urban art, I will be able to flip, my SPAN 364 and SPAN 360 courses. Even more, the pedagogical objective is to enhance student-learning outcomes related to their comprehension, proficiency and analysis of the Spanish language and Hispanic American cultures and literatures. Both the creation and the completion of the project provides rich new digital content for curriculum in the Modern Foreign Language Department at Ohio Wesleyan, and the larger academic community.