Cristina Rivera Garza is the M.D. Anderson Distinguished Professor and director of the Ph.D. program in creative writing in Spanish at the University of Houston. The author or translator of over a ...
The Breath Archives: Affective Documents, Collective Memory, and the Afterlives of Femicide
In her new book Liliana’s Invincible Summer (Hogarth Press, 2023), Cristina Rivera Garza tapped family documents to tell the story of her younger sister’s femicide, which occurred on July 16, 1990, at the hands of her ex-boyfriend. In this talk, Rivera Garza explores the ways in which her sister’s personal papers—their diction and punctuation, repetitions and playful renditions of form—breathe new life into what critic Christina Sharpe has called the “archives of breathlessness” that undergird state and patriarchal violence. Such writerly practices have proven key in the collective memory-making traditions that can turn Liliana, and other victims of femicide, into a material presence among us.