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Postnationalism in Chicana/o Literature and Culture

By Ellie D. Hernández

Publication Year: 2009

In recent decades, Chicana/o literary and cultural productions have dramatically shifted from a nationalist movement that emphasized unity to one that openly celebrates diverse experiences. Charting this transformation, Postnationalism in Chicana/o Literature and Culture looks to the late 1970s, during a resurgence of global culture, as a crucial turning point whose reverberations in twenty-first-century late capitalism have been profound. Arguing for a postnationalism that documents the radical politics and aesthetic processes of the past while embracing contemporary cultural and sociopolitical expressions among Chicana/o peoples, Hernández links the multiple forces at play in these interactions. Reconfiguring text-based analysis, she looks at the comparative development of movements within women’s rights and LGBTQI activist circles. Incorporating economic influences, this unique trajectory leads to a new conception of border studies as well, rethinking the effects of a restructured masculinity as a symbol of national cultural transformation. Ultimately positing that globalization has enhanced the emergence of new Chicana/o identities, Hernández cultivates important new understandings of borderlands identities and postnationalism itself.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Series: Chicana Matters


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. 1-14

In this book I consider postnationalism as a precursor to Chicana/o transnational culture, though some prefer the term “border- lands” or even “Latina/o globalization” to discuss the myriad dislocations of U.S. Mexican-American culture developing over the past thirty years. ...

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One. POSTNATIONALISM: Encountering the Global

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pp. 15-49

“Transnational” global culture refers to those forms of language, custom, politics, goods, and services that pertain to exchange across and beyond national borders.1 Transnational identity formation pertains to people’s national identities as they encounter the effects of transnational culture. ...

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Two. IDEALIZED PASTS: Discourses on Chicana Postnationalism

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pp. 51-81

The ideas, activist movements, and professional groups that compose today’s Chicana feminism developed from a refusal to identify with either Anglo-American feminists in the U.S. feminist movement or male counterparts in the movimiento chicano. This refusal to identify with and ascribe to these national social movements accounts for Chicana feminism’s origins, and at the same time, ...

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Three. CULTURAL BORDERLANDS: The Limits of National Citizenship

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pp. 83-108

The New World Border, Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s apocalyptic vision of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, follows a nihilistic thread of global culture. The uncertainty and gloom that characterize The New World Border’s provocative angle of cultural citizenship proclaim that the lost identities have now been replaced by a world of “borderization.” ...

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Four. CHICANA/O FASHION CODES: The Political Significance of Style

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pp. 109-124

Chicana/o fashion trends throughout the twentieth century constitute a series of political encounters in American culture. The political use of clothes or fashion elicits a “stylization” of ethnicity and captures Chicanas/os’ subject formation across the vast historical and intersectional political moments of identity play. ...

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pp. 125-154

The publication of the autobiography Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez in 1982 changed our understanding of the Chicana/o autobiographical tradition.1 The text, which we might also see as one of the first Chicana/o queer texts, reveals the problematic fissures of identity formation in Chicana/o discourse. ...

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pp. 155-181

Chicana/o gay and lesbian identities have not emerged from a single movement or from larger historical dialectics, such as it has been defined in U.S. gay and lesbian methodological and historical theorizations or even within Chicana/o discourses in which discussions about homosexuality have been explicitly rejected and ignored (D’Emilio 1983, Rich 1995). Ironically, ...

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pp. 183-190

The postnational was an adjustment phase, a period of immense progress and growth. Despite the different political elements and issues with the advancement of capitalism, it has not diminished the need for Chicanas/os’ scholarly and creative work. ...


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pp. 191-201


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pp. 203-227


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pp. 229-247

E-ISBN-13: 9780292793606
E-ISBN-10: 029279360X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292719071
Print-ISBN-10: 0292719078

Page Count: 255
Publication Year: 2009

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

OCLC Number: 429934463
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Postnationalism in Chicana/o Literature and Culture

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Politics and literature -- United States.
  • Mexican Americans -- Ethnic identity.
  • Nationalism and literature -- United States.
  • Mexican-American Border Region -- In literature.
  • American literature -- Mexican American authors -- History and criticism.
  • Mexican American gays -- Intellectual life.
  • Globalization -- Social aspects -- United States.
  • Gender identity in literature.
  • Group identity -- United States.
  • Homosexuality and literature -- United States.
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