Lo Que Escribo

I’m a cultural critic who dabbles in poetry. My favorite poets are Li-Young Lee, Marianne Boruch,  LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Vasko Popa, Octavio Paz, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Claudia Rankine. I use poetry to break linear reason’s chokehold on academic thought–prose’s dominance over my writing. Check out my poems, “A bus asleep by the gutter,” and “Las mil formas de morir,” in The Acentos Review.

Hasian, M.A., Maldonado, J.A., & Muller, S.M. (2017). Democratic Dissent and the Politics of Rescue in the 21st Century’s “Inhospitable” EU Migration “Crisis.” Javnost-The Public: Journal of the European Institute for Communication and Culture, 24(3), 251-266.

Marouf Hasian, Marek Muller, and I collaborated on a critique of various responses to the photographs of Alan Kurdi–images that circulated the world and brought attention to the cruelty of migration policies. In particular, I used Derrida’s writings to think through the idea of hospitality in light of inhumane practices, such as leaving refugees to die at sea before engaging in “rescue.”

Hasian, M. A., Maldonado, J. A., & Ono, K. A. (2015). Thanatourism, Caminata Nocturna, and the Complex Geopolitics of Mexico’s Parque EcoAlberto. Southern Communication Journal, 80 (4), 311-330. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1041794X.2015.1043138.

During the Summer of 2014, I conducted fieldwork in El Alberto, Hidalgo, México. El Alberto is a small Hñähñú (Otomí) community that has recently received media attention for La Caminata Nocturna, a particular attraction of Parque EcoAlberto. La Caminata Nocturna is an elaborate simulation of an illegal border crossing. Volunteers from the Hñähñú community play a variety of roles: from pollero or coyote, to migra, to migrant. La Caminata Nocturna has caught the attention of visitors from all parts of Mexico as well as from other parts of the world. I became interested in this simulacrum because, even though I am an immigrant and even though I have lived as an undocumented immigrant for many years, I thankfully never had to cross the border illegally or trek across the desert. Still, running from the migra has become one of the tropes of (post)modern migrations. I had to return to México in order to be symbolically apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol–deep in the mountains of Hidalgo–a symbolic ritual which allows people from different social, political, ethnic, and national backgrounds to access a variety of fantasies.

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For more on my research feel free to contact me at xangelmaldonado at gmail dot com


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