Memphis Cartonera: Cooperative Publishing, Art, and Activism

Portrait of Roni Gross wearing a log shaped hat
Roni Gross outdoors in a fun hat

Event Info

Elizabeth Pettinaroli, Associate Professor of Spanish at Rhodes College and Founder & Editor of Memphis Cartonera, presented on cartonera publishing—a movement that seeks to platform marginalized voices through art and literature. Pettinaroli covered the origins of the cartonera publishing movement in Latin America and its expansion to Europe and the US.

She also shared her experience as the Founder & Editor of Memphis Cartonera— working in community with activists, collectives, public schools, and other cartonera editors in the “Nuevo South,” a place reshaped by immigration. Through Memphis Cartonera, Pettinaroli hopes to raise awareness about the movement and inspire the creation of new cooperative cartonera publishing ventures.

This presentation was moderated by Roni Gross, CBA Instructor and Book Talk series curator.

About Elizabeth Pettinaroli

Elizabeth Pettinaroli is Associate Professor of Spanish at Rhodes College, and founder and editor of Memphis Cartonera, a cooperative, sustainable publishing house dedicated to fostering literacy through literature and art in Memphis, Tennessee. Her scholarship examines the elaboration of notions of space and place, ecocriticism, and the environmental humanities. Pettinaroli’s research and scholarship include cooperative publishing and cartoneras; social justice and the humanities; the intersection of literature and cartography; and literary history.

About Memphis Cartonera

Elizabeth Pettinaroli founded Memphis Cartonera, drawing on her extensive research of cartonera publishing in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Paraguay. A cooperative practice, Memphis Cartonera’s transdisciplinary approach addresses injustice in disadvantaged urban communities and interrogates the cultural spaces shaped by political and economic histories of the global south.

About Roni Gross

Roni Gross is a book artist whose work is in the collections of The Library of Congress, Harvard, Yale, and many other public and private collections. She runs Z’roah Press which produces limited edition sculptural books. Gross has been an instructor at Center for Book Arts teaching letterpress technique and much more for a number of years. In 2019 she initiated the Book Talk series that continues to feature a diverse range of artists and scholars.


This presentation was made possible by the City Artist Corps Grants program, presented by the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), with support from the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) as well as Queens Theatre.

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