Nericcio, William Anthony 1961- (Bill Nericcio, Billy Nericcio)

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Nericcio, William Anthony 1961- (Bill Nericcio, Billy Nericcio)


Born 1961. Education: University of Texas at Austin, B.A., 1984.


Office—Department of English and Comparative Literature, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Dr., San Diego, CA 92182-6020. E-mail—[email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected].


Writer, lecturer, actor, and educator. San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, professor and chair of English and comparative literature. Foundation for International Education and San Diego State University, visiting senior lecturer in literature, London, England, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007. Taught at the University of Connecticut and Cornell University. Spanish-language voice-over actor and actor in commercials.


Choice Award for outstanding academic title, American Library Association, 2008, for Tex[t] Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of the ‘Mexican’ in America.


Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of the ‘Mexican’ in America, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 2007.

The Hurt Business: Oliver Mayer's Early Works Plus[+], Hyperbole Books (San Diego, CA), 2008.

Contributor to books, including Latino/a Popular Culture, edited by Michelle Habell-Pallan and Mary Romero, New York University Press (New York, NY), 2002. Contributor to periodicals and journals, including Camera Obscura: A Journal of Feminism Culture and Media Studies, World Literature Today, and Bad Subjects. Gobshite Quarterly, member of editorial advisory board.


William Anthony Nericcio serves as professor and chair of English and comparative literature at San Diego State University. A biographer on the San Diego State University Department of English and Comparative Literature Web site further described Nericcio as an "American Literature scholar, Latin Americanist, Chicana/Chicano Studies devotee, Film Studies Guru, Cultural Studies maven, and, last but not least, feverish rasquache Tejano acolyte of Deconstruction." A native of Laredo, Texas, Nericcio is a devotee of popular culture, film, art, photography, television, comic books, and the World Wide Web. A number of "witnesses speak of overhearing his occasional rants on Sleestaks, The Get-Away Chase Game, Al Jaffee, Monty Python, Kurt Wiese, Captain Kangaroo, Mannix, The Banana Splits, Medical Center, Wacky Packages, Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster, Land of the Lost, Dean Martin, Los Polivoces, Mil Mascaras, the late Edward Said, Gamera, and HR Pufnstuf," observed the Web site biographer. He is a frequent visitor to London, where he sponsors students at summer programs presented by San Diego State University. In addition to his busy academic schedule, Nericcio also does Spanish-language voice-over work and occasionally appears in commercials.

In Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of the ‘Mexican’ in America, Nericcio "takes a critical look at the portrayal of Mexicans and Latinos in American popular culture, running the gamut from the cartoon character Speedy Gonzalez to the films of Orson Welles, from the picture postcards of the early 20th century to the comic artistry of Gilbert Hernandez," commented Martin Winchester in the Monitor. The book is profusely illustrated with photographs, movie stills, advertisements, Internet images, and more. All of this material, Nericcio asserts, serves to distort and degrade the image of Mexicans in American popular culture. This portrayal of Latinos and Hispanics in America's media serves to create an atmosphere in which racial jokes, stereotypes, and prejudice are common in conversation, everyday interactions, and in the workplace. Nericcio looks at the ways in which the term "Mexican" is represented in American consciousness, and what accurate and inaccurate characteristics accompany this broad representation of a country's people. "Nericcio does tend to overstate his case, but then, in an oral context—the University lecture—it's a style that likely engenders many a lively discussion and some serious collateral learning," commented Michael Sedano on the La Bloga Web log.

The book "is not one of those page turners to keep by the nightstand, but something to keep by your television, or wherever you think about pop culture," observed Sedano. Winchester called the book a "seminal work on a compelling and under-publicized topic."

Nericcio told CA: "I drew and read comic books from the start. My sister Josie, now a sound editor in Hollywood, taught me to read using my Grandmother Ana Juarez di Nericcio's collection of Harvey Comics—so, in a sense, Richie Rich, Big Lotta, Hot Stuff, and Sad Sack are responsible for my career as a public intellectual and scholar.

"My life as a writer and thinker was changed forever by my teachers; these include Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Enrico Mario Santí, John Zammito, and last but not least, the Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes who I worked with at Cornell."

When asked to describe his writing process, Nericcio responded: "Four a.m., cup of coffee, utter silence and my Mac. Write without hesitation, no stops, just let it spill out. Later that day, I print out the draft and go to an old Victorian library near my house where I edit and re-edit with pen and ink in lots of different colors.

"The writer has secrets the writer cannot know—the revelation of writing is the discovery of ideas that you create but that you cannot really take credit for: it is as if a ghost speaks to you in the corridors of your unconscious mind and your fingers parse out a language you don't even know you speak.

"My favorite book is Tex[t]-Mex because it took sixteen years to finish and is as close to what I imagined back in the day as is possible.

"I hope my books will enter into the imagination of my readers and leave marks that allow for greater intellectual growth and mad invention!"



Monitor (McAllen, TX), March 29, 2007, Martin Winchester, "Author Tackles Stereotypes of Mexicans in the Media," review of Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of the ‘Mexican’ in America.


La Bloga Web log, (April 24, 2007), Michael Sedano, "Textbook Explores Chicana Chicano Image in Pop Media," review of Tex[t]-Mex.

San Diego State University Department of English and Comparative Literature Web site,http://literature.adsu/edu/ (February 4, 2008), biography of William Anthony Nericcio.