Personal Limits – A series on personal writing Princeton, NJ local news


This is the third program in a six-part series. To register for this program, follow this link.

To launch her new book, “Magical Habits”, Monica Huerta, professor of English at Princeton University, will host “Personal Limits”, a series of virtual conversations about contemporary experiences of personal writing. “Magical Habits,” which the New York Times called a “striking start,” draws on Huerta’s experiences growing up in her family’s Mexican restaurants and life as a literary and cultural scholar . Whether it’s dwelling on mundane aspects of everyday life, such as the smell of old kitchen grease, or grappling with the thorny and unsatisfying question of authenticity, the book sets the scene a dynamic conversation: personal and critical essays coexist with a fairy tale; photographs and restaurant menus complement the fictional monologues based on his family history. Ultimately, Huerta sketches thought-provoking lifestyles that allow us to consider what it means to look beyond history even as we are caught in the middle of it.

Each “Personal Limits” virtual conversation will take a provocation from “Magical Habits” to reflect on how contemporary writers experience the personal and what readers expect from personal writing in our time of overlapping collective crises. Confirmed guests of the series include authors, critics and poets: Sarah Chihaya, Merve Emre, Yomaira Figueroa-Vázquez, Tao Leigh Goffe, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Tala Khanmalek, Lili Loofbourow, Dan-el Padilla Peralta and Namwali Serpell.

This session includes Dan El Padilla Peralta, who is Professor of Classics at Princeton University and both a prominent scholar of the Middle Roman Republic and an energetic voice questioning how the field of classics has contributed to Western constructions of whiteness. He is also the author of the memoir “Undocumented: A Dominican Boys Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League”.

Monique Huerta is Assistant Professor of English and American Studies at Princeton University. His next book is “The Unintended: Photography, Property, and the Aesthetics of Racial Capitalism”.


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