Specialized Archive

Sumario / Table of contents

  • In light of numerous scientific studies, and also as a result of the challenges faced in the area of artificial intelligence, today it is possible to understand and describe in great detail how our brains work. 

According to some current ideological trends, we create our image of reality. However, it is not an unreal, intentionally skewed vision imposed from without, but rather one that has been validated and consolidated by our experiences, created by combining an infinite number of schemas, facts and perceptions that together constitute our mental “puzzle” of the world we live in  –an image filled with distortions, gaps and flaws, true; but even more so with accurate assessments, since otherwise it would be impossible for us to survive–. 

Our brains, furthermore, work in modules, using specific mechanisms,  transforming our perceptions into symbols, and in turn into behaviours. 
This explains why human languages are the way the are, and why literature builds stories the way it does;  as well as why both language and literature really influence us, and we them, with all the advantages and dangers this entails. 

The inevitability of both good and bad uses of human expression and their impact on us, explains why we have a specific mental module, innate, having the mission of detecting lies, traps and falsehoods, since they  threaten making efficient decisions regarding survival.  
Since we have this module, people who lie end up having no credibility, as tends to happen in the media, institutions, civil and cultural authorities, and individuals in a cyclical manner throughout history. 

Later in this article we will discuss in greater detail the fascinating characteristics of brain function which are relevant to linguistic and literary studies; and the clear advantages studying Humanities and Neuroscience (non-ideologically speaking)  provide for our survival.

    THE WAY OUR BRAIN WORKS, AND HUMAN EXPRESSION. Implications for Literature, Media and research

    In light of numerous scientific studies, and also as a result of the challenges faced in the area of artificial intelligence, today it is possible to understand and describe in great detail how our brains work. According to some current ideological trends, we create our image of reality. However, it is not an unreal, intentionally skewed vision imposed from without, but rather one that has been validated and consolidated by our experiences, created by combining an infinite number of schemas, facts and perceptions that together constitute our mental “puzzle” of the world we live in –an image filled with distortions, gaps and flaws, true; but even more so with accurate assessments, since otherwise it would be impossible for us to survive–. Our brains, furthermore, work in modules, using specific mechanisms, transforming our perceptions into symbols, and in turn into behaviours. This explains why human languages are the way the are, and why literature builds stories the way it does; as well as why both language and literature really influence us, and we them, with all the advantages and dangers this entails. The inevitability of both good and bad uses of human expression and their impact on us, explains why we have a specific mental module, innate, having the mission of detecting lies, traps and falsehoods, since they threaten making efficient decisions regarding survival. Since we have this module, people who lie end up having no credibility, as tends to happen in the media, institutions, civil and cultural authorities, and individuals in a cyclical manner throughout history. Later in this article we will discuss in greater detail the fascinating characteristics of brain function which are relevant to linguistic and literary studies; and the clear advantages studying Humanities and Neuroscience (non-ideologically speaking) provide for our survival.

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  • 17 years ago, an international conference analyzed how the Government arisen from the Mexican Revolution, remodelled its people's culture to secure its permanence in the power. That's where I presented this paper.

The Mexican authorities's success was such, that they still preside over the country, and manage to keep a democratical image, despite the close-to-war-like period the country is navigating through.

Back home after presenting this paper, a woman --with a stocking distorting her face, followed me during several days, and threatened me. And because of what she said (amongst other things: she knew that my parents were from Spain), I could tell they had investigated me.

I've been living in Spain for 14 years, during which my country has broken into pieces. As I go over this text, I wonder where I got the courage to read it back then, considering the reprisals I have had to deal with.

I now publish it in my web, because Spain's historical evolution faces a critical dilemma, that this text can help understand and solve:

The current economic crisis forces authorities to eliminate or reduce subsidies, sponsorships, official appointments and employment, and other State-granted privileges to cultural agents and industries.  If you take them away, however, you can no longer expect to receive the ideological privileges that you received in exchange for them.

If you pay the musicians, then you can make them play the tunes you like, the way you like them, even if this makes them betray their social function or their personal aspirations.  What doesn't make sense, is to expect them to play it your way –precisely the way the general audience dislikes and won't pay for–, in exchange for nothing.

It is not that they lack loyalty towards the Governmental agenda. In our modern society –in which only money can be used to exchange goods and pay taxes, everything's got a price. Even mere survival, happens to be too expensive for anyone with no currency in his/her pocket; and sadly enough, musicians –like every other cultural agent and live citizen, need to eat.

    ANGELS WITHOUT WINGS: CONTENT POLICIES IN MEXICAN TELENOVELAS, 1957-1997

    17 years ago, an international conference analyzed how the Government arisen from the Mexican Revolution, remodelled its people's culture to secure its permanence in the power. That's where I presented this paper. The Mexican authorities's success was such, that they still preside over the country, and manage to keep a democratical image, despite the close-to-war-like period the country is navigating through. Back home after presenting this paper, a woman --with a stocking distorting her face, followed me during several days, and threatened me. And because of what she said (amongst other things: she knew that my parents were from Spain), I could tell they had investigated me. I've been living in Spain for 14 years, during which my country has broken into pieces. As I go over this text, I wonder where I got the courage to read it back then, considering the reprisals I have had to deal with. I now publish it in my web, because Spain's historical evolution faces a critical dilemma, that this text can help understand and solve: The current economic crisis forces authorities to eliminate or reduce subsidies, sponsorships, official appointments and employment, and other State-granted privileges to cultural agents and industries. If you take them away, however, you can no longer expect to receive the ideological privileges that you received in exchange for them. If you pay the musicians, then you can make them play the tunes you like, the way you like them, even if this makes them betray their social function or their personal aspirations. What doesn't make sense, is to expect them to play it your way –precisely the way the general audience dislikes and won't pay for–, in exchange for nothing. It is not that they lack loyalty towards the Governmental agenda. In our modern society –in which only money can be used to exchange goods and pay taxes, everything's got a price. Even mere survival, happens to be too expensive for anyone with no currency in his/her pocket; and sadly enough, musicians –like every other cultural agent and live citizen, need to eat.

    Continue Reading...

  • During the last decades, literary and media studies have merged, and enriched themselves with tools originally belonging to other disciplines: Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Political Sciences, Musicology, and many others...  
Out of their colaboration, in fact, a new discipline was born ─that of Cultural Studies, which builds upon the seminal idea, * that every cultural product and element, responds to a certain social need, and reflects ─in a certain way, too, our social reality.*

Under this multidisciplinarian umbrella, the careful and experienced analysis of popular fiction ─like that of Pedro Infante's movies in Mexico,  offers us a privileged channel to unveiling and understanding our deeper reality ─our "true reality", as Carlos Bousoño would say.
.
       The present paper illustrates the point, better than a thick volume of theoretical frameworks.

    WHEN EVEN THE MOST COURAGEOUS CRY…

    During the last decades, literary and media studies have merged, and enriched themselves with tools originally belonging to other disciplines: Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Political Sciences, Musicology, and many others... Out of their colaboration, in fact, a new discipline was born ─that of Cultural Studies, which builds upon the seminal idea, * that every cultural product and element, responds to a certain social need, and reflects ─in a certain way, too, our social reality.* Under this multidisciplinarian umbrella, the careful and experienced analysis of popular fiction ─like that of Pedro Infante's movies in Mexico, offers us a privileged channel to unveiling and understanding our deeper reality ─our "true reality", as Carlos Bousoño would say. . The present paper illustrates the point, better than a thick volume of theoretical frameworks.

    Continue Reading...

  • This article was our first project on literary theory (or “poetics”), regarding works produced for popular, mass consumption. It explains how they are characterized by the repetitive and codified use of certain narrative schemas with which the audience is already familiar, and provides examples taken primarily from the telenovela industry. 

It was published long before Hawkin's "memes" (contagious, imitated ideas) became habitual amongst Communications people, and it does not only refer to them, but to the many various elements Literary scholars have analyzed as narrative building blocks in cultures all around the world, for centuries without end.

    MARGINALIZED LITERATURE, a new vision of an everlasting cultural issue

    This article was our first project on literary theory (or “poetics”), regarding works produced for popular, mass consumption. It explains how they are characterized by the repetitive and codified use of certain narrative schemas with which the audience is already familiar, and provides examples taken primarily from the telenovela industry. It was published long before Hawkin's "memes" (contagious, imitated ideas) became habitual amongst Communications people, and it does not only refer to them, but to the many various elements Literary scholars have analyzed as narrative building blocks in cultures all around the world, for centuries without end.

    Continue Reading...

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