Carlos Figueroa

Assistant Professor, Politics
School: School of Humanities and Sciences


Book Foreword on Ascriptive Markers Thinking

Carlos Figueroa, assistant professor in the Politics Department, has just published a book Foreword for a collection of scripts/plays by Tony Broadwick titled You're Not Listening and Other Plays (Fountainhead Press, 2014) that challenges us to take seriously what Figueroa calls "the dominance of ascriptive markers thinking,"; that is, the politics of categories of difference (race, ethnicity, class, gender, religion, among others) that often get in the way of substantive human communication and relations. These categories of difference are structured and defined by unequal power relations among & between people who are situated within shifting often controversial institutional and communal spaces.  Figueroa writes, in the early decades of "the 21st Century, scholars, writers, and poets have explored, and revisited the concepts of race, ethnicity, class, gender, religion, and sexual orientation, and their relations to identity, citizenship and communal politics within a number of historical contexts, policy debates and public discourses.

Yet, many within the performing arts (for example playwrights and plays) have not examined the ways in which these ascriptive markers often serve as barriers to human communication and broader human understanding & relations.  These ascriptive markers rooted in, and defined by various power relations also inform how we as individuals often make value judgments about the “other” that are unfounded and misguided.  Unwarranted judgments regarding the unknown “other,” for instance, may lead to everyday social conflicts and related political struggles over the definitions of what it means to live in community. Tony Broadwick in You’re not listening and other plays...grapples with these broad themes.”

See DOCUMENTS for copy of Book Foreword