Affecting violence : narratives of Los feminicidios and their ethical and political reception
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In Mexico there is an increasing lack of engagement of the Mexican government and its citizens towards resolving violence. In the 20th century alone events such as the Revolution of 1910, La Guerra Cristera, La Guerra Sucia, and most recently Los Feminicidios and Calderon’s War on Drugs are representative of an ethos of violence withstood and inflicted by Mexicans towards women, men, youth, and marginalized groups. This dissertation examines Los Feminicidios in Ciudad Juarez and the cultural production surrounding them: chronicles, novels, documentaries and films. In it I draw on Aristotle’s influential Nicomachean Ethics, Victoria Camps’ El gobierno de las emociones (2011), María Pía Lara’s Narrating Evil (2007), Vittorio Gallese’s and other scientists’ research on neuroscience empathy and neurohumanism, and socio-political essays in order to theorize how a pathos-infused understanding of ethos might engage a reading and viewing public in what has become a discourse about violence determined by a sense of fatalism. Specifically, I argue that narrative and its interpretations play a significant role in people’s emotional engagement and subsequent cognitive processes. I stress the importance of creating an approach that considers both pathos and logos as a way of understanding this ethos of violence. I argue that by combining pathos and logos in the analysis of a cultural text, we can break through the theoretical impasse, which thus far has resulted in exceptionalisms and has been limited to categorizing as evil the social and political mechanisms that may cause this violence.