Asian American Studies

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Queer Poetry in Loisaida: Nuyorican History, Miguelito Pinero, and an Emerging Esthetic

Event Type
Department of Latina/Latino Studies
Asian American Cultural Center1210 W. Nevada, Urbana
Nov 13, 2013   3:30 - 5:00 pm  
Dr. Karen JaimeChancellor's Postdoctoral Research Associate

This talk will attend to the ways in which the Nuyorican Poets Cafe has operated since its founding as a queer space, both in terms of sexualities and performance practices.  In re-codifying the work of Cafe founder miguel Pinero as queer poetry in Loisaida, Dr. Jaime points to the emergence of an aesthetic practice that speaks to the dialogic relationship between the artistic practices that occur within the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and the changing political and geographic landscape outside of it.  As part of her discussion, Dr. Jaime indexes the historical, political and clutural conditions under wihich the term "Nuyorican" shifts from identity marker to aesthetic practice.  For purposes of this talk, the term "Nuyorican" identifies Puerto Ricans who have been born in the United States, while 'nuyorican' marks poets/performers who are not ethnically Puerto Rican but whose artistic practices are influenced by the history and work of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe Arts Movement.  Focusing on poetry of Pinero enables Dr. Jaime to demonstrate the ways poets and artists have historically maked spaces through performance; specifically how Pinero took linguistic ownership of space through the physical act of walking.  The mobility articulated and enacted by Pinero then speaks to the emergence of the 'nuyorican' aesthetic, an artisitc practice grounded in the countercultural history and politics inherent  in the reappropriation of the identity-anchored term "Nuyorican."

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