America, Place, and Diaspora Literatures
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: Dartmouth College Press
Title Page, Copyright
Almost all of the initial supporters of this book and many more assisted me through the long journey to the finish line. I received institutional support at the book’s earliest stage from New York University’s Graduate School of Arts and Science. I received support...
Part I: Place and Diaspora Literature
The idea of place figures large in American identities and fictions. The fantasy of open and expansive geographies (“the West,” the prairies, the deserts) and the magnetism of the metropolis (its scale, its promises, its possibilities) have informed the national imagination...
1. Reformulating Diaspora Spatialities
Diaspora stories are about the possibilities and the impossibilities of being in place. This chapter is a consideration of the ways in which spatial discourses in U.S. literature and in critical interdisciplinary approaches inform our thinking about diasporas. Lived and imagined...
Part II: Diasporizing Local Color and Regionalism
2. Crossing Delancey: Jewish Diaspora Locality and U.S. Literature
“Boundaries, once conceptualized,” wrote the authors of Nations Unbound, a volume on the transnational aspects of immigration, “are given meaning and sentiment by those who reside within them. They acquire a life of their own” (Basch et al., 33). All designated sites...
3. Pluralism in the Immigrant Prairie: Willa Cather's Civilized Primitives
Having discovered “the world of ideas” through the classics, Willa Cather’s Jim Burden contemplates a passage from The Georgics in the third book of My Ántonia: “‘Primus ego in patriam mecum . . . deducam Musas’; for I shall be the first, if I live, to bring the Muse...
Part III: Writing Enclosure and Translocality in the Civil Rights Era and After
4. "Cuando Lleguemos/When We Arrive": The Small Town and the Poetics of Chicana/o Place
The title of this chapter, taken from one of the fragments that constitute Tomás Rivera’s . . . y no se lo tragó la tierra (1971), is emblematic of much of the fiction I discuss in this book. Most of the works that I analyze invoke the condition of a migrancy terminable...
5. The Poetics of Aquí: Barriocentrism in Puerto Rican Diaspora Literature from Mean Streets to Neo-Noir
Both Chicana/o and Puerto Rican diaspora literatures, marked by enclosures, conquests, and labor exploitation articulate the struggle for place in the United States through their engagement with dominant spatial representations of belonging as well as the spatial...
The narratives of migration and diasporization that inspired this book are testaments to the myriad ways in which literature has imagined the seemingly contradictory operations of displacement and enclosure. The enclosures are effected through genre in local colorist, regionalist, and urban writing and through...