Repelling the organization of memory in post-1968 Mexico City: memory work as minor politics

I’m in the early stages of writing a paper on ‘minor politics’ in post-1968 art and literature. The abstract for a relevant conference paper is cut-and-pasted below. Joe Gelach and Thomas Jellis recently notified that they accepted the paper as part of their “Micropolitics and the minor” session at the upcoming AAG meeting in Chicago. Readers of the blog will note that this paper builds on my recent state-theoretical writing.


Repelling the organization of memory in post-1968 Mexico City: the minor politics of Roberto Bolaño, Ximena Labra, and Thomas Glassford

Many activists, artists, historians, politicians, and others in the orbit of post-1968 student protest in Mexico City contribute to what Deleuze and Guattari (in A Thousand Plateaus) would call a major treatment of Mexico City’s 1968. Contributors to this major treatment ‘organize’ memory, which is to say they reduce the events of 1968 to an encounter between molar aggregates (heroic students and repressive state) that serve as coordinates for understanding and practicing politics, and which facilitate the exercise of state power. This paper suggests that recent artistic and literary works by Roberto Bolaño (1999), Ximena Labra (2008), and Thomas Glassford (2010) enact a minor politics that suspends certainties about the collective subject of post-1968 politics in Mexico City. These memory works reveal obstacles and possibilities for forging as-yet unknown solidarities in and through political struggle, and thereby contribute to processes of subjectification. In different ways, the three memory works reveal the spatiality of organized memory, and repel the imposition of limits on what can be thought, said, and done as politics in post-1968 Mexico City. In that sense, although each is distinctive, they together contribute to a molecular flow that remobilizes and exceeds the invariants of a major treatment, and, by giving categories to variation, opens up possibilities for a more thoroughgoing disruption of state power.

About nicholasjoncrane

Associate Professor of Geography and International Studies at the University of Wyoming
This entry was posted in 1968, Aesthetics, Art Practices, and Politics, Mexico, My publications or presentations, Political Geographies of the State. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Repelling the organization of memory in post-1968 Mexico City: memory work as minor politics

  1. Pingback: Panel on ‘police states’ at the AAG annual conference | For Another Critique of the Pyramid

  2. Pingback: Critical Geography (Mini-)Conference on ‘the minor’ — October 2015, University of Kentucky | For Another Critique of the Pyramid

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