Closing Post

This course blog is now an archive of the work the students in this Loyola Marymount University class did on the Chicana / Chicano Gothic. They did a variety of projects and discussed a number of issues connecting Chicana/o literature to how readers see and define Gothic literature.

Many thanks to all the students involved for being a part of this exploration.

¡Adelente!

Dr. Annemarie Pérez

Cathy Ashworth’s Chicana Gothic Art

My project is a tumblr centered around Cathy Ashworth’s Chicana Gothic Art. Her art consist of different five categories: “Undead Girls,” “DeadGirls,“Skeletons,” “Frida,” and “Hearts.” Each category has its own history and story, though every category is influences by the holiday Dia de los Muertos in some way. My tumbler boast some of her paintings from each category and background information about them, which can be read about through each of the links included on this blog. An interview is also included to gain a better perspective on her inspiration.

 

I decided to do my project on Cathy because I have always been a huge fan of her work. Her paintings are simply gorgeous. The paintings included on the blog do not do her portraits any justice when you see them in person. I also decided to do my project on Cathy’s art because it is sold in friends’ shop at the Placita Olvera Street where I grew up. I discuss each painting that is posted on Tumbler by giving historical or contextual background and my personal opinion. What is most unique about my Tumbler, and Cathy’s work, is its bright and colorful tribute to women as powerful and honorable beings. Though her work is very gothic, uncanny, and abject, it still brings forth an element of hope and truth.

 

Creating this project as well as participating in this class was both interesting and unusual to me because I have never experienced something as both Chicano, and Gothic. Much of the gothic elements we discussed in class, as well as in my tumblr, from my perspective are simply apart of the culture. For example, Dia de los Muertos is not gothic to me. It is just a holiday that is a part of my culture. Stepping outside my own perspective, and learning to navigate my ideas from a new viewpoint was both a challenge and a task; but I am grateful for the new perspective I have own my culture.

(By Melinda Gomez – posted by Dr. Perez due to corruption)

Selena: The Romantic Gothic

For the final presentation, I chose to look at the gothic romance present in Tejano singer Selena‘s life. Focusing primarily on her relationship with Chris Perez, I created a blog through wordpress which examined the elements present in Selena’s life which fit under the gothic romantic mold. I also touched upon the friendship Selena had with Yolanda Salvidar, which cannot be ignored due to its numerous gothic implications. There is a certain romance attached to goth, especially when obsession is involved. I hope you enjoy going through my posts on the blog which may be found at chicanogoth.wordpress.com

Sor Juana’s Second Dream

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For my final project I read the novel Sor Juana’s Second Dream by Alicia Gaspar de Alba. It is a historical novel set in 17th century Mexico (called New Spain). It follows the life and love of feminist and Mexican scholar Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz. I then created a Tumblr about the novel and about Sor Juana herself. On the Tumblr there are poems, photos and my own feedback about the novel. I also included a write up of how Conception’s relationship with Sor Juana in Sor Juana’s Second Dream ties back to Calligraphy of the Witch.

 

Legend of Nahuales – blog post

When I first thought about ideas for this project, I planned on doing it on La Llorona. I realized that a lot of my classmates were going to do their project on La Llorona so, I decided to do something similar to La Llorona. My next idea was to work on three different legend heard in Mexico and focus on one of the on each blog post. I asked my parents if there was a legend that they heard about in their pueblo back in Mexico. When my parents started telling me about the legend of Nahuales, I was amazed. The material was so much that I decided to focus only on that legend. It was shocking to learn that side of the town that I have been to multiple times. What was the most intriguing was to learn that I had family members that were Nahuales! It was also sad that a Nahual caused so much pain to my family.

The Legend of Nahuales in Tuzantlán Part 1

The Legend of Nahuales in Tuzantlán, Part 2

Legend of Nahuales Final Post

Día de los Muertos Final Thoughts

photo(1)

 

Día de los Muertos has been an important holiday and event for me over these past few years, as it incorporates so much of what is important to me: my cultural heritage and traditions, family, and honoring our loved ones who have passed. The moment I attended my first Día de los Muertos celebration at Self-Help Graphics in East Los Angeles, I felt like I found an environment where I felt at home. Digging deeper into the subject of Día de los Muertos, I learned about its history, traditions, origins, contemporary acknowledgement, incorporation, and celebration of the holiday.

Late Mexican writer, philosopher, and diplomat, Octavio Paz incorporates the Mexican solitude, masks, and tragedy into the celebration of fiestas in general, including Día de los Muertos, and Mexicans’ outlook on life and death. This 3,000 year old ritual that has been popularized in recent years includes traditions which evoke the gothic: candles, skulls and skeletons, darkness, dark clothing, communing and connecting with those who have passed, and honoring spirits. While these aspects of the holiday can be seen as “dark” and are clearly uncanny and abject, they are utilized to celebrate, revere, and honor.

As one Día de los Muertos celebrant stated, this view of death is traditional and is important to understand the cycle of life and our ancestors. In contemporary times, Día de los Muertos public events are used not only to honor individual family members and ancestors, but also to take a stand on social justice. This is seen at events such as the annual Self-Help Graphics Día de los Muertos celebration, as well as in songs such as “Cumbia de los Muertos,” by LA-based Ozomatli.

 

 

http://citedatthecrossroads.net/chst332/2014/05/05/dia-de-los-muertos-final-project-part-1-of-3/

http://citedatthecrossroads.net/chst332/2014/05/05/dia-de-los-muertos-final-project-2-of-3/

http://citedatthecrossroads.net/chst332/2014/05/05/dia-de-los-muertos-final-project-3-of-3/

 

Final Post – Melinda

My project is a tumbler centered around Cathy Ashworth’s Chicana Gothic Art. Her art consist of different five categories: “Undead Girls,” “DeadGirls,” “Skeletons,” “Frida,” and “Hearts.” Each category has its own history and story, though every category is influences by the holiday Dia de los Muertos in some way. My tumbler boast some of her paintings from each category and background information about them, which can be read about through each of the links included on this blog. An interview is also included to gain a better perspective on her inspiration.

I decided to do my project on Cathy because I have always been a huge fan of her work. Her paintings are simply gorgeous. The paintings included on the blog do not do her portraits any justice when you see them in person. I also decided to do my project on Cathy’s art because it is sold in friends’ shop at the Placita Olvera Street where I grew up. I discuss each painting that is posted on Tumbler by giving historical or contextual background and my personal opinion. What is most unique about my Tumbler, and Cathy’s work, is its bright and colorful tribute to women as powerful and honorable beings. Though her work is very gothic, uncanny, and abject, it still brings forth an element of hope and truth.

Creating this project as well as participating in this class was both interesting and unusual to me because I have never experienced something as both “Chicano,” and “Gothic.” Much of the gothic elements we discussed in class, as well as in my tumbler from my perspective are simply apart of the culture. For example, Dia de los Muertos is not gothic to me. It is just a holiday that is apart of my culture. Stepping outside my own perspective, and learning to navigate my ideas from a new viewpoint was both a challenge and a task; but I am grateful for the new perspective I have own my culture.

Día de los Muertos (Final Project, 3 of 3)

OZO

 

Ozomatli, a diverse, Los Angeles-based band known for incorporating various musical styles into their work, such as Chicano rock, reggae, Latin, hip hop, and funk, have also explored Día de los Muertos in their music. Their song “Cumbia de los Muertos,” or “Cumbia of Those who Have Passed” is a meaningful, socially conscious song that examines death, loss, violence, and social justice while evoking Gothic imagery.

The lyrics are as follows:

Aqui no existe la tristeza
Solo existe la alegriaes
El baile de los queridos
De los queridos del pasado
Mira como baila mi mama
Bailando con mi hermano del pasado
Sus espiritus se juntan bailando
Lleno de alegria y gozando

Cumbia, cumbia (repeat)

Sierta gente solo puede ver
Espiritus bailando entre la gente
Si pueden verlos bailando mis hermanos
Seran bendicidos entre los cielos
Mira como baila mi mama
Bailando con mi hermano del pasado
Sus espiritus se juntan bailando
Lleno de alegria y gozando

Cumbia, cumbia (repeat)

Chali’s rap:

As sure as your heart muscle rests in your chest cavity
We ask God to bless these festivities
Yet, this hostility felt between you and me stops
Opportunity given to spread unity
And be rhythmically wiping sadness clear
Reggae cumbia mixtures create this atmosphere
People packin cheer simply ’cause these songs show depth
Giving shouts to these victims of wrongful death
Now, soon as we’re rid of society’s small terrors
The sooner these teenagers don’t have to be pallbearers
And carry their pals nearer to graves premature the cure
Be mature by keeping you hearts pure

 

English translation of first two verses:

 

Sadness doesn’t exist here
Only happiness exists here
It’s the dance of the beloved
The beloved from the past
Look at how my mom dances
Dancing with my brother from the past
Their spirits joining together to dance
Full of happiness and enjoyment

Only certain people can see
The spirits dancing among us
They can see my brothers dancing
They will be blessed within the heavens
Look at how my mom dances
Dancing with my brother from the past
Their spirits joining together to dance
Full of happiness and enjoyment

Gothic imagery is evident throughout the lyrics, especially as death, spirits, and graves are mentioned multiple times. Dancing with the dead, communing with those who have passed, is also Gothic in nature.

Ozomatli also utilizes vivid imagery within the song that exemplifies Gothic themes. From lyrics such as “Look at my how my mom dances/Dancing with my brother from the past/Their spirits joining together to dance” and “As sure as your heart muscle rests in your chest cavity,” the words evoke a feeling of goriness.

In combining the tradition and culture of the Chican@/Latin@ while utilizing Gothic themes and imagery, Ozomatli and their song, “Cumbia de los Muertos,” have truly brought together the overarching theme of our course.

 

Works Cited:

http://www.allthelyrics.com/lyrics/ozomatli/cumbia_de_los_muertos_english_translation-lyrics-1262715.html

< http://www.metrolyrics.com/cumbia-de-los-muertos-lyrics-ozomatli.html>