Book Cover

Affective Intellectuals and the Space of Catastrophe in the Americas

Judith Sierra-Rivera

6 x 9, 240 pp.
2 illustrations

Pub Date: September, 2018

Subjects: Latinx and Latin American Studies
American Studies
Literary Studies—Latinx & Latin American
Cultural Studies
Race and Ethnic Studies
Gender and Sexuality studies

Series: Global Latin/o Americas

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Affective Intellectuals is convincing, compelling and a delight to read. The book is very stimulating and original and offers truly innovative readings of very interesting materials. It is a brilliantly written book.” —Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes, author of Queer Ricans: Cultures and Sexualities in the Diaspora

“The very important contribution of this book is to focus on the relationship between affect and the intellectual to construct collective community. Thanks to this original approach, I foresee the book to be a landmark in affect studies and to have wide reach.” —Ignacio Sánchez Prado, author of Naciones intelectuales

In her groundbreaking Affective Intellectuals and the Space of Catastrophe in the Americas, Judith Sierra-Rivera studies five different contexts of crisis: natural disasters in Mexico, forced displacements between Central America and the United States, a whitewashed transition to democracy in Chile, colonialism and wars in Puerto Rico, and racism and patriarchy in Cuba. All of these scenarios share the common ground of the neoliberal space of catastrophe, which also generates new groups and forms of resistance. Affective Intellectuals argues that a new kind of intellectual emerges from these contemporary configurations to speak and act guided by the stories and desires of those who have been systematically pushed out of the public sphere: indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, immigrants, LGBTQ sexualities, and inhabitants of poverty.

Pursuing this argument, Sierra-Rivera examines print, radio, and web materials by authors whose emotional discourses have also had a measurable impact on the formation of communities that demand their full political inclusion in society. This book therefore fills a significant gap in the study of the relationship between materiality (space and bodies), emotions, and the political imagination. Affective Intellectuals demonstrates that writers and intellectuals themselves are vital in reshaping their communities and fighting for social justice in the Hemispheric Americas.

Judith Sierra-Rivera is Assistant Professor of Spanish and Latina/o Studies at Penn State University.



Introduction     Emotional Intellectual Interventions and the Politics of Collective Enunciation in the Neoliberal Space of Catastrophe

Chapter 1        No sin nosotros: Monsiváis’s Emergent, Moving, and Cruel Optimism

Chapter 2        For the Believers: Francisco Goldman’s Moro Hybrid Place as a Bridge for the Agents of Hope

Chapter 3        Pedro Lemebel’s Queer Intellectual Discourse or la loca’s Angry, Enamored, and Melancholic Call

Chapter 4        Angry Brotherly Love: U.S. Militarized Puerto Rican Bodies and Josean Ramos’s filin

Chapter 5        Afro-Cuban Cyberfeminism: Love/Sexual Revolution in Sandra Álvarez Ramírez’s Blogging

Epilogue          Intimacies of a “We,” Commonalities, and Intellectual Discourses

Works Cited


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