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Wild Tongues

Transnational Mexican Popular Culture

By Rita E. Urquijo-Ruiz

Publication Year: 2012

An innovative application of four social types—the downtrodden Peladita/Peladito and the zoot-suited Pachuca/Pachuco—that illuminates working-class subjects in a broad spectrum of Mexican and Mexican American cultural production.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Series: Chicana Matters


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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

Publishing a book requires, more than anything, that the author have an excellent support network, both personally and academically. I consider myself lucky that my loved ones and supporters are many. I would like to thank all the people that have contributed positively with their love, inspiration, and support to the creation of this book. In doing this, I have to highlight...

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Preface: Wild Tongues/Lenguas Necias

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pp. xiii-xx

My family, as many Mexican families do, has always enjoyed a good laugh; even in the midst of diffi cult situations, or perhaps because of them, we have managed to amuse each other. Sometimes we laugh out loud, a carcajadas, until our stomachs or cheeks hurt; other times, we enjoy a good riddle or a chiste that elicits a smile. My mother, Carmen Ruiz Abril, who usually appeared to everyone as too serious and quick-tempered, had a loud...

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1. From the Carpa to the Novel: The Peladito in Las aventuras de Don Chipote, o Cuando los pericos mamen

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pp. 1-31

In Las aventuras de don Chipote, o Cuando los pericos mamen (The Adventures of Don Chipote, or, When Parrots Breast-Feed),1 Daniel Venegas proposes, above all, to educate and to persuade Mexicans to stop immigrating to the United States in order to avoid being exploited.2 To do this, Venegas uses parody and satire in describing his characters and their trajectories from one country...

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2. Las Peladitas: Gender and Humor in Teatro de Carpa

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pp. 32-50

In chapter 1 I presented a detailed study of the masculine character of the peladito by tracing its development from written materials (like comic strips and magazines) to the carpa (or tent shows) and eventually into film (as in the case of Cantinflas) in transnational Mexican popular cultures before I analyzed it in the novel by Daniel Venegas. Throughout Mexican and Chicana and Chicano cultural productions the male characters are usually the...

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3. Transnational Pachucada: Artistic Representations in Film, Theater, and Music across the Border

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pp. 51-105

At the end of the 1930s, young people in the United States began to wear “zoot suits,” which became very popular in the 1940s among ethnic-minority youth who wore it on weekends and for special occasions. The suit was created on the East Coast by an African American man, and it became popular in several big cities due to labor and other migrations.2 The 1940s were characterized by great migrations of African Americans who sought to get out...

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4. Of Wild Tongues and Restless Bodies: María Elena Gaitán's Performance Art

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pp. 106-136

Th e origins of Chicana and Latina theater and performance can be situated in the U.S. Southwest during the time this geographical region was still under Spanish colonial domination.1 Historically, Chicanas and Latinas have participated in all the creative and technical components of U.S. theater and performance from its incipiency. Anglo mainstream theater in...

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5. Beyond the Comfort Zone: Dan Guerrero's ¡Gaytino!

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pp. 137-158

During the summer of 2004 Dan Guerrero performed ¡Gaytino!, his oneman show, in Los Angeles, California, in a small community theater. Once he introduced himself, the sixty-five-year-old Chicano told the audience about his longtime love affair with the stage.1 Guerrero had never before performed his autoethnographical performance piece, which was a work...

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Conclusion: Connecting the Past with the Present

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pp. 159-160

Th is text investigates some of the artistic contributions of the characters of the peladito, the peladita, the pachuco, and the pachuca to transnational Mexican popular culture. I have attempted to recover and re-inscribe unpublished texts especially by and about women. These four social types have existed in the cultural imaginary of each country for more than a century...


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pp. 161-196


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pp. 197-206


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pp. 207-217

E-ISBN-13: 9780292739413
E-ISBN-10: 0292739419
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292723849
Print-ISBN-10: 0292723849

Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Chicana Matters
Series Editor Byline: Deena J. González and Antonia Castañeda series editors See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 795165759
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Wild Tongues

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Mexican Americans in literature.
  • Mexicans -- United States -- Ethnic identity.
  • Mexican American arts -- History -- 20th century.
  • Mexican Americans -- Social life and customs -- 20th century.
  • Mexican American literature (Spanish) -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
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