February 15, 2017
2:30pm to 4:00pm
Charles E. Young Research Library Presentation Room 11348

The Departments of Gender Studies and English present


Joshua Javier Guzmán

Assistant Professor, Department of English, University of Colorado, Boulder


Latinidad and Form


Wednesday, February 15th


Charles E. Young Research Library, Presentation Room 11348


The late Cuban-born American artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres is most noted for his minimal and conceptual installation pieces responding, however subtly, to the AIDS crisis. His work withheld normative visual cues associated with sexuality, ethnicity or the epidemic. The artist’s minimalism reflected the unabated response from the Raegan-Bush administrations to the crisis, an indifference leaving many without adequate care or resources to help prevent and cure the disease. As a result, Gonzalez-Torres lost his lover to AIDS five years before his own death in 1996. During this period, the artist produced a set of pieces that together might be understood as enacting a hermeneutics of care. Therefore, this talk will examine the continuously negotiated link between aesthetics and politics by first underscoring how their ambivalent relationship mirrors the form care takes in Gonzalez-Torres’ work. Care then becomes a useful analytic in describing the definitional incoherence known as Latinidad, a phenomenon emerging at the intersection of loss and desire.


Joshua Javier Guzmán received is PhD from the Department of Performance Studies at New York University in 2015. He was a 2015-2016 UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Gender and Women's Studies at UC Berkeley and is currently Assistant Professor of English at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is completing a manuscript tentatively titled, Suspending Satisfaction: Queer Latina/o Performance and the Politics of Style, which examines Latino subcultural production in a very contentious post-1968 Los Angeles. He is also co-editor of a recent special issue of Women and Performance entitled “Lingering in Latinidad: Theory, Aesthetics and Politics in Latina/o Studies.”