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Rodríguez, Ileana 1939-

RODRÍGUEZ, Ileana 1939-

PERSONAL: Born October 8, 1939, in Nicaragua; daughter of Alberto and Ana Maria (Andara) Rodríguez; married Roberto L. Guibernau; children: Carlos Eduarte, Santiago Vega. Education: Attended Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, 1963; University of California, San Diego, B.A. (philosophy), 1970, Ph.D. (Spanish literature), 1976.

ADDRESSES: Home—177 W Jeffrey Pl., Columbus, OH 43214. Office—Ohio State University, 1775 College Rd., Columbus, OH 43210. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Ohio State University, Columbus, associate professor, 1992–99, professor of Spanish and Portuguese, 1999–2004, Distinguished Humanities Professor, 2004–. Visiting professor, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, 1989; visiting professor, University of Oregon, Eugene, 1997; visiting professor, Michigan State University, 2003.

MEMBER: Modern Language Association, Latin American Studies Association, Midwest Modern Language Association

AWARDS, HONORS: Fulbright scholarship, 1992; American Council of Learned Societies, 1996; Virginia Foundation for the Humanities award, 1998; Rockefeller Foundation resident fellowship, 1999.

WRITINGS:

(Editor, with William L. Rowe) Marxism and New Left Ideology, Marxist Educational Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1977.

(Editor, with Marc Zimmerman) Process of Unity in Caribbean Society: Ideologies and Literature, Institute for the Study of Ideologies and Literature (Minneapolis, MN), 1983.

Primer inventario del invasor, Editorial Nueva Nicaragua (Managua, Nicaragua), 1984.

(With Ramón Luis Acevedo and Mario Roberto Morales) Literatura y crisis en Centroamérica: ponencias, Instituto Centroamericano de Documentación e Investigación Social (San José, Costa Rica), 1986.

Registradas en la historia: diez años del quehacer feminista en Nicaragua, CIAM (Nicaragua), 1990.

(And translator, with Robert Carr) House/Garden/ Nation: Space, Gender, and Ethnicity in Post-colonial Latin-American Literatures by Women, Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 1994.

(And translator, with Robert Carr) Women, Guerrillas, and Love: Understanding War in Central America, University of Minnesota Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1996.

(Editor) Convergencia de tiempos: estudios subalternos/contextos Latinoamericanos estado, cultura, subalternidad, Rodopi (Atlanta, GA), 2001.

(Editor) The Latin American Subaltern Studies Reader, Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 2001.

(Editor) Cánones literarios masculinos y relecturas transculturales: los trans-femenino/masculine/queer, Anthropos (Barcelona, Spain), 2002.

Transatlantic Topographies: Islands, Highlands, Jungles, University of Minnesota Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

Contributor to Lucien Goldmann's Cultural Creation in Modern Society, translated by Bart Grahl, Blackwell (Oxford, England), 1977.

SIDELIGHTS: A native of Nicaragua, Ileana Rodríguez studies Latin-American literature and narrative from a feminist perspective to comment on gender and ethnicity and reveal how language reflects the state of politics and society in Latin America. For example, in House/Garden/Nation: Space, Gender, and Ethnicity in Post-colonial Latin-American Literatures by Women Rodríguez "localizes the transitions to modernity in Caribbean area narratives by women," according to Jan Jerrell in Critique. "However, her additional purpose is to reveal the layers and interrelationships of gender, ethnicity, and the rhetoric of nation-formation that accompany these transitions." Analyzing the writings of such authors as Teresa de la Parra, Simone Schwartz-Bart, and Jean Rhys, Rodríguez demonstrates how women in Latin-American countries are excluded from participating in the laws of their societies and in the building of their nations. "Rodríguez does a brilliant job of deciphering the multiple meanings and referents for house/garden/nation," Jerrell concluded.

Women, Guerrillas, and Love: Understanding War in Central America also uses Latin-American literature to comment on women in society. Latin American Research Review critic Tracy Fitzsimmons commented that Rodríguez "demonstrates how the construction of literary discourse involves the creation of categories that constrain individuals—in this case, women." Fitzsimmons continued, "Rodríguez argues that language is a domain of struggles for power. Therefore when revolutionary narratives written by leaders (such as Che Guevara or Arturo Arias) marginalize women by depicting a collective masculine 'I,' the narratives impinge on revolutionary women's power and identity. For Rodríguez, the deconstruction of the nation-state is linked to woman's absence or death in narratives."

Rodríguez told CA: "My current research is on violence and criminality. I study the representation of these two topics in Caribbean and Central American cultural production. My purpose is twofold. One is political: to underscore that cultural production is key to the public discussion of these issues and hence plays an important role in the construction of persuasion and consent. The second is theoretical: to understand that since the conceptual categories in use come from classical liberalism, they have to be adjusted to make them fit the new milieus….

"My point of departure is the discussion of concepts—civil society, public sphere, markets, and the state. I pay particular attention to the enormous difficulties and heuristic hurdles Latin American scholars go through when trying to grasp Latin-American historical milieus. I argue that a great deal of adjustment is effected to bring the validity of liberal concepts to bear on our particular research, and that lately it is solely through the mediation of ethnic and feminist studies that the original concepts can be made to fit.

"My interest in writing came as a result of my training during my undergraduate and graduate work. The most important influence at that time was the prose of Karl Marx and of Vladimir I. Lenin. In my field, we were also drawn by the work of the Latin-American writers of the so-called "boom." What we liked about Marx was his capacity of abstraction, and in him, we had three different models, the early Marx, the Das Kapital Marx, and the Grundrisse Marx, constituting three different theoretical levels of abstraction. In Lenin we admired the force of the political conviction and how it came across through lapidary expressions. And in the Latin-American fiction writers, we enjoyed the power of imagination and invention. I wanted to bring all those elements together. But there were other writers, mainly the "gentleman scholars" from the 1930s, whose prose was elegant and poetic, including historians like Fernand Braudel, Ramiro Guerra, C.L.R. James, and Erik Auerbach. Theirs was a style of writing that revealed the profound affect and wisdom these scholars had for their field. But I began writing when I got interested in disproving that there was no literature in the Caribbean. My curiosity led me to find out whether or not this assertion was true or false. I was troubled and driven by that assertion and began to research and write.

"The most surprising thing I have learned as a writer is how entertaining and fulfilling writing is. Playing with words, finding new ones, looking for the correct expression to convey ideas takes us into different worlds where time flies by, My favorite book is always the one I am currently writing.

"I don't think about the effect my books may have on people. I write because I cannot not write. I have many questions I want to answer but the effect of my writing does not belong to me."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Canadian Ethnic Studies, Volume 25, issue 1, 1993, Anton L. Allahar, "Unity and Diversity in Caribbean Ethnicity and Culture," p. 70.

Critique, summer, 1995, Jan Jerrell, review of House/Garden/Nation: Space, Gender, and Ethnicity in Post-colonial Latin-American Literatures by Women, pp. 284-286.

Latin American Research Review, spring, 2000, Tracy Fitzsimmons, review of Women, Guerrillas, and Love: Understanding War in Central America, p. 216.

Modern Language Notes, March, 2003, Alvaro Felix Bolaños, review of The Latin-American Subaltern Studies Reader, p. 505.

Signs, winter, 1998, Judith Hicks Stiehm, review of Women, Guerrillas, and Love, p. 552.

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