[We recently decided to get to know each other by way of the blog. There is something really odd about auto-bio pieces. They only have meaning at the beginning of a relationship. In the spirit of the conversation starter, I thought I’d play with the genre. If I am the subject, here are my conversations.]
I am a mix of places: Charlottesville, Miami, Paris, Santo Domingo, Beirut, Amsterdam, Valencia.
I am a mix of places: The library, the department, the street, the salon. I am a heteroglossic fantasia in 7 languages and 7×7 idioms. Everywhere I am, I am other, el otro Alex. No kidding.
I study Aimé Césaire. In particular, his drama, “And the Dogs Were Silent.” The plot: A man rebels against everything and everyone, radically, uncompromisingly. Simple. The textual history: The author rebels against himself, radically, uncompromisingly. Not so simple.
I study machine languages. Ruby, now. I am searching for the boundary between humans and machines. It is not where most people think it is.
I study texts. They are strange machines, simultaneously covered and exposed. They are patient teasers. Before I had mechanical questions, I read an inordinate amount of texts. I remember most of them.
In my thesis I argue that material conditions of production over-determine texts. I am not the first to argue this, nor the last. My research on Césaire is original.
I court three professional camps: Digital Humanities, Caribbean Studies and Textual Studies. I am about to court a fourth: Library Studies. I wish I had time to court Continental Philosophy and be a local community organizer.
This year I am a fellow at the Scholars’ Lab, HASTAC and NINES.
I publish in different places. I publish in print and on the web. I gave away my copyright once. That was a mistake. Now I give away my scholarship and ideas instead.
I am one of the editors of the Planète Libre critical/genetic edition of the complete works of Aimé Césaire (2013). I am the sole editor of the digital version.
On a personal note: I am a father of two clever sons. I am cleverly married. I have a large family. They are a mix of places too.