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The Latino Body

Crisis Identities in American Literary and Cultural Memory

Lazaro Lima

Publication Year: 2007

The Latino Body tells the story of the United States Latino body politic and its relation to the state: how the state configures Latino subjects and how Latino subjects have in turn altered the state. Lázaro Lima charts the interrelated groups that define themselves as Latinos and examines how these groups have responded to calls for unity and nationally shared conceptions of American cultural identity. He contends that their responses, in times of cultural or political crisis, have given rise to profound cultural transformations, enabling the so-called “Latino subject“ to emerge.

Analyzing a variety of cultural, literary, artistic, and popular texts from the nineteenth century to the present, Lima dissects the ways in which the Latino body has been imagined, dismembered, and reimagined anew, providing one of the first comprehensive accounts of the construction of Latino cultural identity in the United States.

Published by: NYU Press

The Latino Body

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pp. i-viii


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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xiv

"The body of this book and the material body that produced it were both nurtured and supported by many people and institutions. I take great pleasure in acknowledging them here. The genesis of this book was conceived at the University of Maryland, College Park, where Sandra Messinger Cypess,..."

Part I Longing History

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pp. 3-21

"U.S. Army Captain John Gregory Bourke (1846–1898) was one of the earliest ethnographers of the Mexican and Amerindian Southwest. His birth and death marked two of the most important years for U.S. continental and hemispheric expansion between the Mexican-American War (1846–1848)..."

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pp. 22-55

"The 'truce' that followed the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 occasioned a series of remembrances about the Mexican-American War, its prehistory, and its aftermath. On both sides of the redrawn border, the war demanded justification, description, documentation, and ..."

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pp. 56-88

"José Antonio Villareal’s novel Pocho: A Novel about a Young Mexican American Coming of Age in California (1959)1 was considered to be the first Latino novel published in English prior to the archival work undertaken by Rosaura Sánchez and Beatrice Pita.2 Their critical endeavors make patent..."

Part II Postmodern Genealogies

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pp. 91-126

"New York Times reporter James Brooke noted how on January 9, 1998, in Española, New Mexico, 'an Indian commando group stealthily approached a bronze statue here of the first conquistador, Don Juan de Oñate. With an electric saw, the group slowly severed his right foot—boot, stirrup,..."

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pp. 127-162

"It is through the terrain of national culture that the individual subject is politically formed as the American citizen: a terrain introduced by the Statue of Liberty, discovered by the immigrant, dreamed in a common language, and defended in battle by the independent, self-made man."

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pp. 163-174

"From its inauguration on January 1, 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) allowed for the development of 'free trade contact zones' along the Mexican side of the U.S.-Mexico border and with it an expendable labor force: not just the poor but the destitute of Mexico’s..."


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pp. 175-200

Works Cited

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pp. 201-214


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pp. 215-230


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pp. 231-232

E-ISBN-13: 9780814765074
E-ISBN-10: 0814765076
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814752142
Print-ISBN-10: 0814752144

Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2007

OCLC Number: 798295907
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Latino Body

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Mexican American literature (Spanish) -- History and criticism
  • Chicano movement.
  • Mexican Americans -- Ethnic identity.
  • Mexican Americans -- Historiography.
  • Mexican Americans in literature.
  • American literature -- Mexican American authors -- History and criticism.
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