ALC's Pulseo Intelectual | Campus Event


On Thursday, January 31st, the Asociación de Literatura Comparada, or ALC, hosted Pulseo Intelectual, an intellectual arm-wrestling debate. The educational activity was held in CH-226.

(Photo retrieved from ALC’s Facebook page)

As I entered the classroom, I was greeted by the familiarity of the association; most of the audience was wearing their ALC turquoise shirt. By the entrance, there was a sign, ‘Rincón de destrucción’, and in front of it was a punching bag, with labels that read: violencia de género, JCF, machismo, colonialismo, corrupción, etc. Students and professors were all conversing, waiting for the activity to commence. First, they discussed the association upcoming events, like the Poetry Declamation Competition on February 22.

They began explaining the rules of the debate. They had thirty seconds to explain their primary arguments in favor or against the given statements. They had a minute to regroup with their team and prepare to argue their opponent’s points. Then, they’d head back to the desks and argue, while arm-wrestling. A panel of three judges would deliberate and the winner, as well as their teammates, would get a chance to release their frustrations unto the punching bag, in el rincón de destrucción.

In the middle, the room had two desks facing each other- this was where the members of their respective teams were supposed to face off. After the teams chose their name- Los Diablos vs Las asesinas, round 1 begun. The statement was: La literatura cuenta la mejor historia que la historia misma, pues la literatura penetra en las subjetividades y complejidades de lxs seres humanxs y el mundo que los rodea, cosa que la Historia no hace para mantener su objetividad (Literature tells history better than History itself because it delves into the subjectivities and complexities of human beings and the world around us, which History doesn’t do in order to maintain its objectivity); Yolie was against it whilst Eddie defended it.  Although Yolie beat Eddie arm wrestling, Eddie won the debate.

(Yolie Vargas arm-wrestling and debating against Eddie Pesante)

After, Dayana debated against Aharhel. The round’s statement was: Existe la posibilidad de ‘arte por el arte’ en la literatura que se produce desde los márgenes y opresiones. (There is a chance that ‘art for art’s sake’, in literature, can be produced from society’s fringes and oppression). Although it was a close debate, and even closer arm-wrestle, Dayana, who fought in favor of the assertion, was declared the winner of the argument.

(Los Diablos, composed by Yolie Vargas, Prof. Powers and Aharhel Alicea)

(Las asesinas, composed by Dayana Feliciano, Prof. Llenín and Eddie Pesante)

Finally, it was the awaited professors’ round; Prof. Llenín was to fiercely debate against Prof. Powers. The affirmation they had to battle about was: #LeeLoQueSeaPeroLee fue un proyecto del ministerio de cultura de Colombia en el 2017 que buscaba, en las redes sociales, motivar la lectura. De esta forma, se promovía la actividad de leer, sin importar el qué ni el cómo. Este tipo de proyecto es importante, pues es preferible incentivar la lectura como actividad automática en lugar de que no se lea en absoluto (#LeeLoQueSeaPeroLee was a project by Colombia’s Ministry of Culture in 2017 that sought to motivate reading through social media. Thus, it would promote reading activity, regardless of the text or how it was acquired. This type of reading is important because it’s preferable to incentivize reading as an automatic activity rather than not reading at all). Prof. Powers, member of Los Diablos, won the heated argument, although Prof. Llenín beat him when it came to arm-wrestle. The team Las asesinas won the Pulseo Intelectual!

(Iverson R. Rosa and Nashaly Cima. Retrieved from ALC’s Facebook page)

After, ALC’s directive invited two members of the audience to participate in their bonus round. Nashaly, who won, and Iverson arm-wrestled and debated intensely about the definition of culture. At the end of the activity, an ALC member, Adriana, shared her illustrations of the event. Tatiana Chi, their public relations manager, commented: "El pulseo buscaba quebrantar los límites en el binomio entre intelecto y cuerpo y fomentar una forma de hacer Academia en otra codificación del salón de clases” (The event sought out to break the dichotomy between the body and the intellect, and encourage a way of doing academia outside the codification of the classroom)

(Adriana López next to her illustrations of the event. Photo retrieved from ALC’s Facebook page)

The activity was as fun as it was educational. While learning more about literature and some of its debates, I spent time among peers who treated each other -and me- like friends. In order to find more information on the Asociación de Literatura Comparada (ALC) and all of their upcoming events, like their Facebook Page (@alc.uprm) or follow them on Instagram (alc.rum) or Twitter (AlcUprm)