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  • Tuesday, November 14, 2023 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm

Zoom (email natreyes@sas.upenn.edufor link and reading materials)

Students in ENGL/LALS 4517 will engage with JD Pluecker on their translation of Trash by Sylvia Aguilar Zéleny (Deep Vellum Press, 2023). The novel, set in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, follows three women whose stories are linked by geography, waste, and abandonment. Aguilar Zéleny asks crucial questions: Who is seen as disposable and why? How do women find their own means of survival and joy in the midst of a perilous sociopolitical context? What does it mean to live a life in a time of austerity and extreme violence?

Students will place Trash into conversation with I Live Here 3, an art book set in Ciudad Juárez that includes a short novella by the comics artist Phoebe Gloeckner titled La Tristeza, which focuses on the sexual violence and murders that have plagued Ciudad Juárez for decades.

In this class session, we will consider the ethical strategies involved in translating from one language to another, as well as larger questions and implications of representing bodily precarity across text, image, and graphic narrative forms.

About our guest speaker: JD Pluecker works with language, that is, a material thing, a thing of life and history. Their undisciplinary work inhabits the intersections of writing, history, translation, art, interpreting, bookmaking, queer/trans aesthetics, non-normative poetics, language justice, and cross-border cultural production. They have translated numerous books from the Spanish, including Gore Capitalism (Semiotext(e), 2018), Antígona González (Les Figues Press, 2016), Writing with Caca (Green Lantern Press, 2021) and Trash (Deep Vellum, 2023). Their book of poetry and image, Ford Over, was released in 2016 from Noemi Press.

Organizer: Natalia Reyes