University Book Store Presents José Alaniz with Diana Flores Ruíz

Submitted by Isabelle Schlegel on

On Wednesday, December 6 at 6 p.m., join the University Book Store for a discussion with José Alaniz and UW Cinema & Media Studies professor Diana Flores Ruiz!

More information at this link:

Puro Pinche True Fictions” collects short stories and comics, mostly set in the Rio Grande Valley along the Texas/Mexico border. The stories reflect the author’s upbringing in this region as a second-generation Mexican-American, at times fusing folk beliefs with Bradbury-style science fiction. For example, “Tamales” sets the immigration narrative on Mars in 2063, when a migrant family makes the crossing in search of work via (malfunctioning) rocket. Other stories, like “Genoveva” and “Where You Stop the Story,” retell painful family episodes going back years and generations. The comics section, “Electric Youth,” is the most explicitly autobiographical, recounting incidents from Alaniz’s childhood in South Texas, some of them told in Spanglish. These range from nostalgic (like one showing how common and pleasant it used to be to cross the river to Reynosa, Mexico for family outings) to funny/gross (the author’s memory of stepping on a nail) to self-flagellating (the reimagining of ethnic self-loathing through a Star Wars metaphor). This collection will appeal to readers with an interest in contemporary Chicano fiction and comics.

José Alaniz, professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Department of Cinema and Media Studies (adjunct) at the University of Washington, Seattle, has published academic books on Russian/Eastern European comics, disability in comics and superheroes. He also makes comics, including for the collections The Phantom Zone and Other Stories (Amatl Comix, 2020), The Compleat Moscow Calling (Amatl, 2023) and Puro Pinche True Fictions (2023, FlowerSong Press).

Diana Flores Ruíz examines forms of mediation that produce and facilitate structures of racialized violence, as well as artistic and activist modes of visual resistance. Her current book project investigates the technological construction of the U.S.-Mexico border through the lenses of apprehension and Latinx visual critique. Spanning from the border’s cartographic founding to its current virtual, biometric capacity, Dr. Ruíz analyzes a constellation of photography, cinema, surveillance, and machine vision to demonstrate how visual cultures of the border constitute differential racial emplacements of mobility and itinerant political subjectivities. Her work appears in Film QuarterlyThe Matter of Photography in the Americas (Stanford UP, 2018), and a forthcoming anthology on materiality and performance in the built environments of Mexico City (UAM Cuajimalpa). Her research has been funded by the Institute for Citizens and Scholars (formerly the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation), the Mellon Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and UC Berkeley’s Center for Latin American Studies.