Creative Current 2022-2023 - Page 9

Fine Arts Spotlights

Humanities Professor Majfud Wins International Literary Award

Jacksonville University Professor Jorge Majfud put quite a bit of himself into his novel El Mismo Fuego , which recently won The Independent International Literary Award .
Orrizonte Atlantico , the Italian literary agency that organized the competition , called Prof . Majfud ’ s novel “ an existential autobiography based on the author ’ s experiences during the last military dictatorship in Uruguay .” Prof . Majfud considers the “ self ” essential to writing fiction .
“ Real art is an exploration of the inner human world ,” says Prof . Majfud , who is about to see his eighth novel published this year . “ To understand the feelings of others we need to explore and understand our own feelings and emotions , normally contaminated with our own ideas , which are never purely our own but mostly came from a long human history . The same way a car is an extension of our body , art – fiction – is an extension of our ‘ inner self ’.”
In addition to writing fiction , Prof . Majfud , who has been teaching at Jacksonville University since 2010 , and is Associate Professor of Spanish , Latin American Literature & International Studies , also writes academic papers , books and essays .
“ When we write academic papers or books we try to be as objective as possible and put the ‘ self ’ aside . Not just in the sciences but even in the humanities this is a must but it is also a utopia , since even in science the researcher has their own world view , their own convictions and paradigm where they work from , and even their own aesthetic principles , as it was demonstrated with the Copernican revolution ,” says Prof . Majfud , who has written and published seven novels and several books of short stories along with essays and academic works during the past 24 years .
In his next book , Silicona 5.0 , Prof . Majfud explores technology and its effects on society .
“ It is about love – or artificial love – in the artificial intelligence-coming world and how an identity thief is not just a criminal but , even more important , a part of a whole consumerist culture that makes humans into robots while making robots into humans ,” Dr . Majfud says . “ In the near future , people are going to marry robots and robots are going to understand people better than our most efficient psychologists ( which , by the way , are not very numerous ), which looks like a solution to many problems but my deepest intuition says that it will be a slow collective self-destruction . I fear our future solutions are not going to be better than our current problems .”
In addition to his writing career , Dr . Majfud will continue sharing his insights and opinions with his students in the Division of Humanities .
“ We are not teachers but professors , and that means being radical in our questioning and analysis of the reality ,” Dr . Majfud says . “ Our first goal is not being politically correct but to push the boundaries of knowledge as much as we can , regardless of whether we are working with the right or the wrong hypothesis .”
“ Science is radical or is not . Philosophy , humanities , art should be radical in their explorations or they are just repetitive , mechanical work or commercial stuff for sale .”
By Jacqueline Palsha
www . ju . edu / steincollege 9