Violence is a recurrent theme in the cultural production of the Romance world. Scholars and artists have examined the aesthetic and political representations of violence, whether physical, psychological, emotional, institutional, linguistic, or a mix of them. The body is often portrayed as both an agent and a victim of violence. It has been nearly impossible for the body to escape from the violence associated with and caused by those in a position of power. How do those in power exercise acts of violence, and in turn become agents of sickening discourses? In turn, how do victims react to the violence suffered at the hands of their perpetrators (or themselves)?
Professor Jean Franco is a pioneer of Latin American Cultural Studies and was the first English-speaking academician who became a Professor of Latin American Literature in England. She was appointed Professor by the University of Essex in 1968 having previously taught at Queen Mary College and Kings College, London University. In 1972 she took up a position at Stanford University where she was later appointed to the Olive H. Palmer Chair of Humanities. She has been at Columbia University since 1982, first in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and later in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. She is now Professor Emerita.
Her main publications include The Modern Culture of Latin America (1967), An Introduction to Latin American Literature (1969), Plotting Women: Gender and Representation in Mexico (1989), and Marcando diferencias: Cruzando Fronteras (1996). Her book, The Decline and Fall of the Lettered City: Latin America and the Cold War ( Harvard UP 2001) was awarded the Bolton-Johnson Prize by the Conference of Latin American Historians. Her latest book Cruel Modernity (2013) examines the conditions under which extreme cruelty became the instrument of armies, governments, rebels, and rogue groups in Latin America.
Professor Franco has been decorated by the governments of Mexico, Chile, and Venezuela for her work on Latin American literature and has received awards from PEN and from the Latin American Studies Association for lifetime achievement. She has served as President of the Latin American Studies Association in Great Britain and of the Latin American Studies Association in the U.S.
Dr. Adriana Garriga-López is an Associate Professor of Anthropology in Kalamazoo College, Michigan. She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology (2010), a Master of Arts (2003) and Master of Philosophy in Anthropology (2006) from Columbia University. She holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Comparative Literature from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (2001,) where she co-founded LLEGO! (The Queer People of Color Union of Rutgers University.)
Her ethnographic research focuses on contagious disease and public health cultures in Puerto Rico, with an emphasis on the island’s political context. She is currently editing a book manuscript on the coloniality of health in Puerto Rico, which is based in part on her ethnographic research on HIV/AIDS.
In addition, Professor Garriga-López publishes poetry and short fiction in English and Spanish. She is also a performance artist, muralist, and soprano. Her creative work has appeared in Cruce, 80 Grados, Sargasso, Ad Hoc, African Writing, The Columbia Review, Beyond Polarities, and Piso 13. Currently she is working on a book of poems entitled Ratchet of the Earth.