Dr. Stefano Muneroni is an Assistant Professor in the department of Drama. His research is grounded in post-colonial theory and includes the study of both intercultural and border theatre. Dr. Muneroni looks specifically at how socio-economic factors affect cultural and artistic conditions, and how such conditions are negotiated in new plays.
2012 Research Cluster Grant
Translating and Performing the Post 9/11 Mexican-American Border
In recent years, the political rhetoric in the U.S. has constructed the Mexican-American border as a problematic space that must be fortified to protect Americans from illegal immigration, drugs, violence, and even terrorism. At the same time, it has shaped “special” spaces along the border to celebrate the long friendship between the two countries. Both rhetorical stances present a limited understanding of the border and ignore the complex human experience and its effect in shaping the border landscape.
This KIAS project wants to deconstruct these conflicting and reductive images of the border through the investigation of a body of dramatic and literary works written about the Mexican-American border in the last fifteen years that debunk the political rhetoric of the U.S. government. These works portray the border as permeable, open to both social interactions and negotiations of cultural differences, and capable of suggesting alternative solutions to the exclusionary politics of the U.S. The research team will also focus on how these works function as critical tools to denounce both binational policies and NAFTA as responsible for labor exploitation, social discrimination, and the horrific murders of Mexican women in border cities. As part of the research, and in close collaboration with graduate students from MLCS and the Department of Drama, the team will also translate a heterogeneous selection of “border texts” from Spanish into English and weave them into two theatrical pieces that will receive full staged readings here at the University.
Keywords: Mexican-American border, border theory, translation, performance, interculturalism, borderlands