The Seductive Style of a Tex-Mex Cultural Critic. A Review of William A. Nericcio's <em>Tex{t}-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of The “Mexican” in America</em> (Austin: U of Texas P, 2007)

  • Priscilla Peña Ovalle University of Oregon
Keywords tex{t}-mex, Tex-Mex, Mexican-American Culture

Abstract

One gets the impression that William Anthony Nericcio, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University, is an excellent, if highly-caffeinated, educator. Tex{t}-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of The “Mexican” in America, his first book, captures the excitement and vitality of intellectual discovery and growth as possible only in the most invigorating university classrooms. An urgent enthusiasm bleeds from Nericcio’s writing, resulting in a nearly hyper-textual collection of essay and image that colors outside the lines of academia. Nericcio produces a hybrid scholarship; he does not merely present and analyze his objects of study. Instead, Nericcio remixes popular icons and images, breaking them down by revising them to produce his own media messages. It is this level of ambitious engagement —getting his hands textually dirty, so to speak— that makes Tex{t}-Mex worthy of reflection. Tex{t}-Mex is simultaneously accessible and theoretical, popular and academic. While the book claims to “assess the impact of various image and narrative industries on Latinas/os in literature, art, and mass culture,” it does much more

Author Biography

Priscilla Peña Ovalle, University of Oregon
Priscilla Peña Ovalle está afiliada al Departamento de Inglés en la Universidad de Oregon desde 2006, luego de recibir su doctorado en la Escuela de Cine y Televisión de la Universidad del Sur de California (USC). Sus investigaciones se centran en la relación entre danza, raza, y sexualidad en el cine de Hollywood. También se interesa por la representación de la sexualidad de las mujeres latinas en los anuncios relacionados con salud pública y las intersecciones entre género, raza, y sexualidad en diferentes tipos de medios. Ha publicado artículos sobre medios y representación racial en las antologías Television After TV: Essays on a Medium in Transition (Duke University Press, 2004) y The Persistence of Whiteness (Routledge, en prensa). También ha colaborado con el Labyrinth Project del Annenberg Center for Communication (USC) en varios DVDs interactivos e instalaciones, incluyendo Tracing the Decay of Fiction: Encounters with a Film by Pat O’Neill y Three Winters in the Sun: Einstein in California, presentado en la exhibición sobre Albert Einstein en el Centro Cultural Skirball (2004-2005).
Published
2007-08-01
Section
Reviews: Race, Culture and Identity