Curious Entanglements, with Christina León

I often tell my students, “I’m not sure you’ll leave this class with more answers, but if you have more refined, more sophisticated questions, then I think we’ll have had a huge success.” ~ Christina León

Christina León, Princeton professor of English, wants us to be accountable in our curiosity and attentive to the ethics of how we approach the unfamiliar. Her writing — like any good literature — feels universally relevant and applicable.

A rich and timely conversation, inspired by Christina’s chapter “Curious Entanglements: Opacity and Ethical Relation in Latina/o Aesthetics” in Curiosity Studies: A New Ecology of Knowledge.

Listen to Choose to be Curious #117: Curious Entanglements, with Christina León

What I Learned: New vocabulary! Christina appreciates the stumbles — the thing that slows us down to read again — and, for me, that proved to be some new-to-me terminology in her chapter. Not sure that I have fully plumbed all the concepts, or the schools of thought behind them, but just learning I have more to learn was thrilling.

What I Loved: Christina’s writing is elegant and erudite. I loved that both the chapter and conversation took on new dimensions when I returned to them after several months away and that they do feel relevant well beyond their own important and particular focus. I suspect, like Shakespeare and Baudelaire whom she mentions, her work will be read over and over again.

Christina León is the twelfth and final of my series of interviews with the contributing authors to the anthology Curiosity Studies: A New Ecology of Knowledge (University of Minnesota Press, 2020). Be sure to check out the depth of resources available on the Manifold site that accompanies the book.

More on Christina León here


Our theme and other music is by Sean Balick. “Come As You Are” by Cauldron via Blue Dot Sessions.

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Reading is an opportunity for understanding how we encounter difference.

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