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Professional Activities

Rafael Ponce-Cordero, Assistant Professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages, organized two interconnected sessions on the intersection between subalternity and superheroism at the annual convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, at the beginning of April. They responded to the general question “Can the Subaltern Be a Superhero?”— an obvious homage to Gayatri Spivak’s seminal text “Can the Subaltern Speak?” The first panel, chaired by Dr. Ponce-Cordero himself, focused on characters from within the United States and featured papers on alternative female heroisms in comics, gay costumed crime-fighters, and Latina superheroines. The second one, chaired by Derek S. McGrath of Stony Brook University, dealt with characters from Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and included Dr. Ponce-Cordero’s presentation “They Didn’t Know I Was So Astute: A Postcolonial Reading of Mexico’s Chapulín Colorado.” Both sessions attracted a considerable audience, generated quality feedback, and were live-tweeted. Dr. Ponce-Cordero and his collaborators are now working on the publication of their papers as a collection of essays in book format.

Professor Daniel Patterson of the Theatre and Dance department will have his play The Vastness Within read by The Edge Ensemble under the direction of Keene State Adjunct Kim Dupuis in Heberton Hall on June 6th. The cast will include several former KSC students. The play is the culmination of a sabbatical project and is a science fiction piece about the ongoing and somewhat emotional debate between science and religion over the concepts of evolutionary theory. The play is a humanistic approach concerning the fact that many scientists believe that certain religious concepts are not wholly incompatible with their scientific beliefs and vice versa. It is also a mystery story, a warning about the dangers of nuclear war, and a love story of sorts. Prof. Patterson began this project in 1988 when he started work on an adaptation of James P. Hogan’s novel Inherit the Stars although the work has moved somewhat beyond the original in scope and thrust. Prof. Patterson carried on a correspondence with Mr. Hogan in the late 80’s though he has sadly passed away since then. Prof. Patterson calls it a thought-provoking and deeply philosophical piece that he thinks the audiences will find surprisingly emotional.

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