Sergio Delgado Moya’s book A Nervous Archive: Sensationalism and the Potency of Horror will make a case for sensationalism as a vast and largely unexplored archive: a nervous archive fit for the nervous social system that produced it. Sensationalist tabloids are exploitative, but as this project will show, they are also rich in stories and images that speak to the lives of poor, gendered, and racialized subjects. By exploring how sensationalist material became a widely-used source for artists in the Americas active in the decades after World War II, Moya’s book will provide a careful analysis of crime tabloids and of the artworks that draw from them to reveal the political potency of sensationalist print matter, and, in particular, of the images of gruesome violence that make crime tabloids so shocking. His book will include chapters on the work of artists and filmmakers Beatriz González, Catalina Parra, Francisco Smythe, Eugenio Dittborn, Felipe Cazals, and the Asco Group. 

Sergio Delgado Moya is a scholar of Latin American studies and a queer, first-generation college graduate. He was born in Tijuana, Mexico, and raised between Baja California and California. His research is grounded in the Latin American region. All of Delgado Moya’s major research projects are transnational in scope and they emphasize the social and political dynamics of art beyond the sphere of the aesthetic. Delgado Moya is Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Emory University and the author of Delirious Consumption: Aesthetics and Consumer Capitalism in Mexico and Brazil (University of Texas Press, 2017).