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Susana Chávez-Silverman is a Califas-born U.S. Latina writer and flaneuse who (against all odds) is also an educator, although she mostly laments what’s happened to la cacademia over the last decade or so. She still finds joy and hope in being la High Priestess of SLOW to her students and former students, some of which are among her closest compinches. Of the two crónicas included in this special curated issue of cultural works in PORTAL under the theme Transitions and Dislocations, she says:
‘My writing/life took a major detour in 2016. For most of the year, I wrote nothing at all. Or rather, nothing except e-mail after email: to administrators, colleagues all over the world, attorneys, friends and relatives. I had scheduled my sabbatical in order to finish a book project, but had been derailed by a Title IX investigation and plagiarism case at my home institution, and the accompanying anxiety and anger . I returned to my book over the summer, culling and editing hundreds of pages of primary texts (letters and emails). But this book is much longer—and truer—than anything I’ve written before and takes a different kind of writing energy, uninterrupted time, and commitment. Writing from a place of anger and anxiety doesn’t serve this book. The two crónicas included in this special curated issue are not part of my book in progress, Our Ubuntu, Montenegro: del Balboa Café al Apartheid and Back. Rather, they were my way of easing back into my (he)art space. ‘Casi Víspera’ proves I did write something in 2016 after all (other than email, I mean)—I had no memory of it until early this year! ‘Black Holes’ talks about precisely this (remembering and not). I was determined not to let 2016’s plagiarism/Title IX toxic double helix continue to poison me. I wanted to begin 2017 with a bang, and wrote this for my son, for his 30th birthday.’
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