Current Projects

My main book project, tentatively titled Agonies of Historicity: the Hispanic Atlantic under American Circumstances incorporates contextual and historiographic concerns, amplifies themes and includes various historical figures inside a panoramic transatlantic frame of early modernity / coloniality. It grows out of my first book Good Places and Non-Places: The Figure of Vasco de Quiroga(2001). Main themes and historical figures include the dawn of international law (Francisco de Vitoria), economics (School of Salamanca), poetic Mannerism (Bernardo de Balbuena), pictorial Mannerism (Pedro de Campaña), ephemeral architectures and funeral celebrations (Cervantes de Salazar), apocalyptic Franciscanism (Toribio de Benavente, “Motolinía” and Gerónimio de Mendieta), Baroque pedagogy and Christian love (Inés de la Cruz), war and truth (Jiménez de Quesada), etc. More of a “lumper” than a “splitter,” I wish to interrogate the “problem of history” in our own global situation, while enriching such interrogation with disparate para- and non-literary materials generated by disparate disciplinary perspectives in the humanities and the social sciences, such as international relations or foreign affairs for instance, but also journalism and popular consumer culture. This current book project incorporates some of these contemporary possibilities while zeroing on the need for the construction of "historicity:" sustainable, long-range, time-honored big-picture visions. Some of these single chapters have already been published in abbreviated form or are currently in press.

Foreign Sensibilities: Book of Interviews. I have had interviews with distinguished practitioners in the field of Hispanic and Latin American Studies (Enrique Dussel, Walter, Mignolo, John Beverley, Neil Larsen, Mary Louise Pratt, Rolena Adorno, González Echevarría, Brotherston, José Rabasa, etc.). In the final editing stages, selections have already been published or are currently in press (about 1000 [one-thousand] pages in the unedited version. It is my idea to bring the quantity of pages down to half).

Foreign Humanities in the Shadow of U.S. Foreign Relations: Larger Frames of Samuel P. Huntington’s anti-hispanism.   I am reconstructing Huntington’s ways of knowing inside a sustained scholarly life of great impact inside and outside the U.S. I am interrogating the main assumptions of his culturalist-identitarian construction of a “repressive ontology” (or “native” American Being) while putting it together with a belligerent conception of human life and imperial history caught between the double inspiration of the Early Modern scholar Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) and of the noted jurist mind in times of Nazism, Carl Schmidt (1888-1985). Huntington’s scholarship willingly operates within the Anglo-German frame of world visions, while being eager to be instrumentalized by US foreign policy circles. I am analyzing the fundamental elements informing this heuristic eclecticism in the area-studies knowledge method of Huntington. The “clash of civilizations” paradigm leans back often on the language of “human nature” and the “ideal type” of the “military mind,” at least in the pre-1970s books, still redolent of a certain humanistic rhetoric of Trumanesque extraction has had a tremendous impact in the liberal arts. Since the 1970s it is the official good time for “culture,” and increasingly so of its twin sister of “identity.” The book includes seven sections: 1) Introduction; 2) One possible parallel in the visual popular culture: Amiel’s The Core; 3) The parallel, intersecting lines of “classical” liberalism and conservative militarism; 4) The Critique of the Attenuated Historicism in between “human nature” and the “military mind,” and Hobbes Redux; 5) The Criminal Eclecticism of anti-Hispanism in Who are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity (2004); 6) About the Respectability of Americanism and Vast Historiographic Vistas; and 7) Conclusions (finished book, 150 pages, single spaced).

In relation to this interest in geopolitics, area studies and studies of culture, I have recently been engaged with the figure of Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) in the context of Paris 1919 and the creation of the League of Nations. Wilson has been recently proposed by the Princeton group (Anne Marie Slaughter and others) as a good point of geopolitical departure for the Obama administration.


Developed and Maintained by Christopher Rackauckas