May 01 Colloquio Mexicano


Ms. Alannah Hopkin [Freelance Journalist]

“The Mexico of Malcolm Lowry: Under the Volcano”

This paper investigates the picture of Mexico given in Lowry’s 1947 novel, which is set in Cuernavaca on the Day of the Dead, 1938. To what extent was Lowry writing out of alcoholic delirium, and to what extent did his vision of Hell relate to the Mexico he knew?

Ms. Olwen Rowe [National University Ireland, Galway]

“Re-Visiting Myth: Formulations of Female Identity in Mexican and Irish Literature”

Although the histories, literature and politics of Ireland and Mexico differ greatly, they share a striking and intriguing feature: the impulse to scapegoat an indigenous woman in order to explain collective vulnerability to colonisation. The first section of this paper will outline the emergence of such “Necessary Eves” in Mexican and Irish literature – namely, the Irish Dervorgilla and the Mexican La Malinche. The paper will also suggest that the emergence of these figures corresponded with a marked increase of passive female archetypes – most notably Mother Ireland and the Virgin of Guadalupe – in these nationalist ‘mythologies’. The second, and main part of the paper, explores the ways in which contemporary Irish and Mexican women have addressed this legacy. This research has led the speaker to believe that contemporary Irish and Mexican women’s poetry is the most promising point of departure for such an analysis of the complex and evolving relationship between mythology and female identity.

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Followed by a reception to mark the opening of a photographic exhibition:

'Tunnel Kids: Portraits of Youth from the US-Mexican border'

Centre for Mexican Studies

Room 1.51, First Floor - Block B East, O'Rahilly Building, University College Cork Ireland