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Toward a Latina Feminism of the Americas

Repression and Resistance in Chicana and Mexicana Literature

By Anna Marie Sandoval

Publication Year: 2008

Weaving strands of Chicana and Mexicana subjectivities, Toward a Latina Feminism of the Americas explores political and theoretical agendas, particularly those that undermine the patriarchy, across a diverse range of Latina authors. Within this range, calls for a coalition are clear, but questions surrounding the process of these revolutionary dialogues provide important lines of inquiry. Examining the works of authors such as Sandra Cisneros, Laura Esquivel, Carmen Boullosa, and Helena María Viramontes, Anna Sandoval considers resistance to traditional cultural symbols and contemporary efforts to counteract negative representations of womanhood in literature and society. Offering a new perspective on the oppositional nature of Latina writers, Sandoval emphasizes the ways in which national literatures have privileged male authors, whose viewpoint is generally distinct from that of women—a point of departure rarely acknowledged in postcolonial theory. Applying her observations to the disciplinary, historical, and spatial facets of literary production, Sandoval interrogates the boundaries of the Latina experience. Building on the dialogues begun with such works as Sonia Saldivar-Hull’s Feminism on the Border and Ellen McCracken’s New Latina Narrative, this is a concise yet ambitious comparative approach to the historical and cultural connections (as well as disparities) found in Chicana and Mexicana literature.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Contents

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pp. vii-

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Preface

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pp. ix-xvi

I, like Helena Mar

Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-

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Chapter 1. "UNIR LOS LAZOS:" BRAIDING CHICANA AND MEXICANA SUBJECTIVITIES

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pp. 1-18

My interest in comparing Mexicana literature and Chicana literature began during a year of study at la Universidad Nacional Aut

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Chapter 2. CROSSING BORDERS AND BLURRING BOUNDARIES: SANDRA CISNEROS RE-VISIONS THE WAILING WOMAN

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pp. 19-44

Chapter 1 discusses the early work of Chicana feminist critics as well as more recent significant scholarship by Chicana critics. When analyzing these critics’ work as a whole, the following political/theoretical projects may be seen: (1) a redefinition and transformation of family institutions;1 (2) a critique of the patriarchy in the dominant culture and in Chicanas’ own communities; (3) a collectivization of certain relevant cultural...

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Chapter 3. "NO DEJEN QUE SE ESCAPEN": CARMEN BOULLOSA AND LAURA ESQUIVEL

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pp. 45-64

Chicana literature, like Mexicana literature, is not always given due to the increase in translated texts. Nevertheless, few critical studies have focused specifically on women’s contributions to the field, and the texts that have been translated are often parative critical studies of these two national literatures are...

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Chapter 4. ACTS OF DAILY RESISTANCE IN URBAN AND RURAL SETTINGS: THE FICTION OF HELENA MARIA VIRAMONTES

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pp. 65-88

The fiction of Helena María Viramontes is involved in the unique praxis of third world feminisms as it simultaneously examines multiple issues.1 As one of the most socially and politically conscious writers of today, Viramontes presents global concerns in her short stories and proposes international coalitions through her narratives. The short story “Cariboo Café”...

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Afterword

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pp. 89-98

My project or “story” began in 1990 as a graduate student. As a woman I wanted to tell the story of brave Chicanas and Mexicanas who battled patriarchy. I hoped to describe the challenges, the struggles, the successes and sometimes failures of women who resist accepting the role that previous generations have handed down to them. I wanted to tell the story of the brave women who write about once-forbidden subjects and...

Notes

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pp. 99-108

Bibliography

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pp. 109-122

Index

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pp. 123-129


E-ISBN-13: 9780292793835
E-ISBN-10: 0292793839
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292718845
Print-ISBN-10: 0292718845

Page Count: 149
Publication Year: 2008

Series Title: Chicana Matters

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • American literature -- Mexican American authors -- History and criticism.
  • American literature -- Women authors -- History and criticism.
  • Comparative literature -- Mexican and American.
  • Mexican literature -- Women authors -- History and criticism.
  • Feminism in literature.
  • Women in literature.
  • Comparative literature -- American and Mexican.
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