Back to the Table of Contents

Winter 2011

Visual Arts

Shades in Time: Attitudes towards African Descendants in Mexico by Maria de la luz Matus-Mendoza

"Drawing on a sociolinguistic approach which loosely encompasses perceptual dialectology and critical discourse analysis, attitudes towards Afro-Mexicans will be analyzed as seen in three popular movies from the late 1950s and a popular soap opera from the mid 1980s. The following pages are dedicated to answer two questions: Are Mexicans prejudiced against Afro-Mexicans? Have Mexicans’ attitudes towards Afro-Mexicans changed?"

Non-Fiction

The Gathering of the Elders by Wesli Court, a book review by Michael Palma

"The Gathering of the Elders, as suggested by its title (and its dedication “to the memory of all those who have left us”), is a book of reminiscences and commemorations, many of them elegiac in tone. These concerns—reinforced by the frequent use of (usually rhymed) iambic pentameter—give the collection a unity and depth of treatment."

“Lately I’ve Wondered” A Review of Rhina Espaillat’s Her Place in These Designs by Alfred Nicol

"The first poem in Her Place in These Designs announces the poet’s intention to move freely, wherever her place may be. The poet is looking at old snapshots of herself—“good little girl,” “nice girl,” “obedient”—when she notices “a certain look / I don’t remember in our common face.” She recognizes in it an attitude of defiance, and she celebrates its furtive appearance in the old family photo albums; without that streak of independence, the young girl might not have escaped “the sanctities of custom.” She might never have become the poet she has become. The poet is Rhina Espaillat, who built some mischief into the title of the poem: “Snaps” refers to the snapshots mentioned in the poem but retains the further connotation of clasps, catches, fastening devices; it even hints at the sound of them coming undone!"