Thomas Jefferson Opposed the Haitian Revolution

Isaias Rogel, Northeastern Illinois University

Amanda Goldblatt is the faculty sponsor of this project.

Description

I will be performing a fifteen minute literary reading of my short story “Thomas Jefferson Opposed the Haitian Revolution”—a creative work of fiction written in both English and Spanish. I will open with a brief introduction of myself and my work and conclude with an open discussion. In the act of reading in both languages, I will explore the nuances of negotiating between my first language, Spanish, and my second language, English--correlating specific experiences with English and evoking emotion with Spanish. I will verbally express how one disrupts the other—exhibiting, through speech, how meaning is transformed through language. Through the act of reading, I will demonstrate how the physical body—both mouth and tongue—wrestle and resist the transition from one set of signifiers to the other. This resistance reoccurs throughout my short story and illustrates the protagonist’s struggle to come to terms with his identity and place. Through the protagonist, Isaac, I will explore storytelling as a mechanism of meaning-making which allows othered bodies the agency to rewrite their history and interact with their ancestral home. “Thomas Jefferson Opposed the Haitian Revolution” tells the story of a Latinx Mexican-American writing the history of their hometown on a Wikipedia page. From a distance, Isaac is able to interact with his ancestral home through digital spaces. He imagines and reconstructs it through memory. In recollecting, he situates his experiences—as both an American and a Mexican-American—within a capitalist society. Through the digital spaces—Wikipedia and other web pages—Isaac is able to juxtapose accounts of colonialism and neo-colonialism with personal memory. This process is disrupted by advertisements, the internet, cell phone apps, and actors within the dominant culture. In utilizing the form of hybridized fiction, which includes poetry and nonfiction, I will demonstrate the possibilities of representation on paper. Rather than adhering to a traditional linear narrative, I want to illustrate the fluidity and ongoing process of identity formation. By transitioning from fiction to poetry to non-fiction and back—I will not only demonstrate the blurring of fact and fiction, in both history and identity, but I will also demonstrate how memory and digital spaces disrupt and challenge colonial ways of being.

 
Apr 19th, 12:00 AM

Thomas Jefferson Opposed the Haitian Revolution

I will be performing a fifteen minute literary reading of my short story “Thomas Jefferson Opposed the Haitian Revolution”—a creative work of fiction written in both English and Spanish. I will open with a brief introduction of myself and my work and conclude with an open discussion. In the act of reading in both languages, I will explore the nuances of negotiating between my first language, Spanish, and my second language, English--correlating specific experiences with English and evoking emotion with Spanish. I will verbally express how one disrupts the other—exhibiting, through speech, how meaning is transformed through language. Through the act of reading, I will demonstrate how the physical body—both mouth and tongue—wrestle and resist the transition from one set of signifiers to the other. This resistance reoccurs throughout my short story and illustrates the protagonist’s struggle to come to terms with his identity and place. Through the protagonist, Isaac, I will explore storytelling as a mechanism of meaning-making which allows othered bodies the agency to rewrite their history and interact with their ancestral home. “Thomas Jefferson Opposed the Haitian Revolution” tells the story of a Latinx Mexican-American writing the history of their hometown on a Wikipedia page. From a distance, Isaac is able to interact with his ancestral home through digital spaces. He imagines and reconstructs it through memory. In recollecting, he situates his experiences—as both an American and a Mexican-American—within a capitalist society. Through the digital spaces—Wikipedia and other web pages—Isaac is able to juxtapose accounts of colonialism and neo-colonialism with personal memory. This process is disrupted by advertisements, the internet, cell phone apps, and actors within the dominant culture. In utilizing the form of hybridized fiction, which includes poetry and nonfiction, I will demonstrate the possibilities of representation on paper. Rather than adhering to a traditional linear narrative, I want to illustrate the fluidity and ongoing process of identity formation. By transitioning from fiction to poetry to non-fiction and back—I will not only demonstrate the blurring of fact and fiction, in both history and identity, but I will also demonstrate how memory and digital spaces disrupt and challenge colonial ways of being.