The editorial team of the twenty-fourth volume of Lucero spent this year rethinking the possibilities of the academic journal. How can we access a wider audience and assemble a more diverse group of responses to critical questions? Our discussions took into account the public we seek and our relationship with this public, the net we cast for submissions, what kinds of works constitute a submission, and how best to present these works. Rupturing the strictures of the purely academic, we decided to expand the journal to include any critical, creative, and emerging genres.
With this change in mind, we asked for submissions responding to the theme of violence and the arts. The six authors whose work we present address this theme in different ways.
In the short story “Naranjas,” a child narrator witnesses the violence wrought by two strangers in military uniforms who accost his father while he fishes, as well as his mother’s unawareness of what has happened as she concentrates on preparing oranges in the kitchen. The poetry collection “Inundaciones” explores the way that socioeconomic inequality determines space, with intersections of human agency and nature varying according to these divisions. Memory emerges as a common problematic in the essays “La literatura como recodificación de la memoria corporal y la colectividad de una nación traumatizada en Una sola muerte numerosa,” which examines the effects of terrorism of the state on the nation’s memory in recent Argentine literature; “Sounds and Memories of El Salvador’s Civil War in the Songs of Los Torogoces de Morazán,” which profiles the guerilla musicians of El Salvador who use their music to carry cultural memory and memories of war that are suppressed in other media; and “El árbol-narrador en La sangre de Elena Quiroga: Lugar femenino de memoria y trauma en la posguerra española,” which finds a testament to the female experience of the early years of the Franco dictatorship in an early-1950s novel. Finally, the personal essay and poems of “O espelho despedaçado: cinco poemas para uma memória negra” explore racial violence and discourse in Brazil, linking the process of remembering to the creative genre of poetry.
As a part of our restructuring and reinvigoration of Lucero, we have created this website, which will accommodate visual, written, and sonic genres. Previous digitized volumes of Lucero are archived at eScholarship. Older print volumes may be available upon request. It is our hope that Lucero will continue to evolve as a space for visual art, critical essays, fiction, poetry, translations, videography, photography, songs or pieces of music, and new or hybrid genres.
Thank you to all of the individuals who contributed their work, ideas and time to this volume of Lucero.
Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of California, Berkeley