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Buenas Noches, American Culture

Latina/o Aesthetics of Night

María DeGuzmán

Publication Year: 2012

Often treated like night itself—both visible and invisible, feared and romanticized—Latina/os make up the largest minority group in the US. In her newest work, María DeGuzmán explores representations of night in art and literature from the Caribbean, Colombia, Central and South America, and the US, calling into question night's effect on the formation of identity for Latina/os in and outside of the US. She takes as her subject novels, short stories, poetry, essays, non-fiction, photo-fictions, photography, and film, and examines these texts through the lenses of nationhood, sexuality, human rights, exoticism, among others.

Published by: Indiana University Press


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pp. ix-x

A word on the organization of Buenas Noches, American Culture: Latina/o Aesthetics of Night. This study concentrates on Latina/o literature and some film and photography from the 1940s to the present, focusing chiefly on . . .


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pp. xi-xi

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Introduction: Critically Inhabiting the Night

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pp. 1-16

Tropes of night in U.S. Latina/o arts take up the stigma of darkness as a condition to be inhabited ethno-racially and philosophically despite claims that the fate of U.S. Latina/os is to conform to an Anglo-American hegemony. Evocations of . . .

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1. Dreaded Non-Identities of Night: Night and Shadows in Chicana/o Cultural Production

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pp. 17-68

Of the more than fifty million Latina/os currently within the continental borders of the United States, Mexican Americans have had a long borderlands history—defined by military battles and treaties in the name of U.S. national . . .

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2. Queer “Tropics” of Night and the Caribe of “American” (Post) Modernism

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pp. 69-134

I turn from night among Chicana/o cultural producers to an investigation of its uses among contemporary queer poets of Hispanic Caribbean descent who are living in the United States and are at least half Anglographic. What I . . .

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3. Postcolonial Pre-Columbian Cosmologies of Night in Contemporary U.S.-Based Central American Texts

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pp. 135-183

Central America is the invisible sleeping giant or the eclipsed celestial body in the study of U.S. Latina/o culture, Latin American culture, and American (United States) culture. I deploy the phrase “sleeping giant” to remind . . .

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4. Transcultural Night Work of U.S.-Based South American Cultural Producers

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pp. 184-244

“Transcultural” is the adjectival form of “transculturation.” The latter term was originally coined in Spanish more than half a century ago by Cuban anthropologist and ethnographer Fernando Ortiz Fernández (1881–1969) to describe . . .

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Conclusion: Two Homelands Have I: “America” and the Night

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pp. 245-254

Night works among Latina/o cultural producers demonstrate that “assimilation” does not have one meaning but several, some of them opposed to one another. “Assimilation” is a commonly used term in U.S. society and has been . . .


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pp. 255-271


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pp. 273-288


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pp. 289-310

E-ISBN-13: 9780253001900
E-ISBN-10: 0253001900
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253001795

Page Count: 326
Illustrations: 3 b&w illus.
Publication Year: 2012

OCLC Number: 796384110
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Buenas Noches, American Culture

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Night in art.
  • South American literature -- History and criticism.
  • Central American literature -- History and criticism.
  • American literature -- Hispanic American authors -- History and criticism.
  • Night in literature.
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