Martin-Rodriguez, Manuel M.
Martin-Rodriguez, Manuel M.
Born in Seville, Spain. Education: University of Seville, Licenciatura, 1985; University of Houston, M.A., 1987; University of California, Santa Barbara, Ph.D., 1990.
University of California, Santa Barbara, lecturer in Chicano studies, 1990; Yale University, New Haven, CT, assistant professor of Spanish, 1990-96; Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, associate professor of Spanish, 1996-98; University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, associate professor of Spanish and director of Roberto Hernandez Center for Latino Studies, 1998-99; Texas A&M University, College Station, associate professor, 1999-2004, professor of Spanish, 2004; University of California, Merced, professor of literature, 2004—.
Recovering Hispanic Religious Thought fellow, University of Houston, 2003.
Rolando Hinojosa y su "cronicón" chicano: Una novela del lector, University of Seville (Seville, Spain), 1993.
(Editor and author of introduction) La voz urgente: Antología de literatura chicana en español, Editorial Fundamentos (Madrid, Spain), 1995.
Life in Search of Readers: Reading (in) Chicano/a Literature, University of New Mexico Press (Albuquerque, NM), 2003.
Contributor to books, including Cross-Addressing: Discourse on the Border, edited by John C. Hawley, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 1996; U.S. Latino Literatures and Cultures: Transnational Perspectives, edited by Francisco A. Lomelí and Karin Ikas, C. Winter (Heidelberg, Germany), 2000; The American Child: A Cultural Studies Reader, edited by Caroline Levander and Carol Singley, Rutgers University Press (New Brunswick, NJ), 2003; Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage, edited by Antonia Castañeda and Gabriel Meléndez, Arte Público Press (Houston, TX); and Border Transits: Literature and Culture across the Line, edited by Ana Manzanas, Rodopi (New York, NY). Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including PMLA, Revista Iberoamericana, La Palabra y el Hombre, Silva: Estudios de Humanismo y Tradición Clásica, Modern Language Quarterly, Aztlán, Monographic Review, La Torre, Language and Literature, Bilingual Review, Latin American Literary Review, Americas Review, Hispania, and Journal of American Studies of Turkey.
Manuel M. Martin-Rodriguez told CA: "I started writing as a child. I was fascinated with the power of words to tell stories, and I wrote regularly. As a youngster, I received a couple of local prizes for poetry and essay, and I served as editor of my high school paper. Around that time, I started reading literary criticism and theory, and I developed a strong interest in this style of writing.
"In my own work as a literary and cultural critic, I strive to combine in-depth research and scholarly standards with expository clarity. My goal is to be accessible and relevant to both the academic and the interested reader from any other walk of life. Consequently, I expect my writings to have a double effect: for the profession, they must advance knowledge and promote future scholarship; for the wider readership, I hope to raise awareness of issues that might otherwise go unnoticed.
"Each of my books has a story of its own, and it would be impossible to choose one over the other. When I wrote Rolando Hinojosa y su ‘cronicón’ chicano: Una novela del lector, book-length analyses of the work of individual Chicano authors were not common. This book allowed me to explore an extremely complex narrative work (Hinojosa's) without sacrificing depth for reasons of space. It has been quite rewarding to see two other books on Hinojosa published several years after mine.
"My second book, La voz urgente: Antología de literatura chicana en español, was conceived to fill a gap in the field of Chicano studies by combining literary analysis with access to primary sources that were otherwise difficult to find. To that end, I wrote a long introduction to Chicano literature (and shorter individual pieces on each of the authors anthologized), and I compiled stories and poems, many of which had appeared in books and journals long out of print. In addition, I thought that this book would make a powerful statement on the vitality of Spanish as a language of choice for Chicano writers, and that it could also be a prediction for the future of the Spanish language in the United States. Though some colleagues questioned my choice back then, suggesting there might not be a market for this book, the fact that La voz urgente is now in its third printing speaks for itself.
"Last but not least, Life in Search of Readers: Reading (in) Chicano/a Literature represents the culmination of years of research on the audiences that have helped to shape Chicano literature across time. This book has been quite well received, and I am particularly pleased with the possibility that it afforded me to combine close readings of the works I discuss with larger theoretical questions that I am interested in exploring, such as the need to rethink the ways in which we write literary history."