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War Echoes

Gender and Militarization in U.S. Latina/o Cultural Production

Ariana E. Vigil

Publication Year: 2014

War Echoes examines how Latina/o cultural production has engaged with U.S. militarism in the post–Viet Nam era. Analyzing literature alongside film, memoir, and activism, Ariana E. Vigil highlights the productive interplay among social, political, and cultural movements while exploring Latina/o responses to U.S. intervention in Central America and the Middle East. These responses evolved over the course of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries—from support for anti-imperial war, as seen in Alejandro Murguia's Southern Front, to the disavowal of all war articulated in works such as Demetria Martinez’s Mother Tongue and Camilo Mejia’s Road from Ar Ramadi. With a focus on how issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality intersect and are impacted by war and militarization, War Echoes illustrates how this country’s bellicose foreign policies have played an integral part in shaping U.S. Latina/o culture and identity and given rise to the creation of works that recognize how militarized violence and values, such as patriarchy, hierarchy, and obedience, are both enacted in domestic spheres and propagated abroad.  

Published by: Rutgers University Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

This book project began as an exploration into the intersections between U.S. Latina/o literature and transnational activism, focusing exclusively on Latina/o cultural production in response to the Central American revolutions. As I have reoriented the project to one that investigates U.S. military intervention and expanded the scope to include Iraq, ...

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Introduction: Gender, War, and Activism in Contemporary U.S. Latina/o Cultural Production

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pp. 1-26

In October 2003 Camilo Mejía, the son of the well-known Sandinista sympathizer and internationally famous folk singer Carlos Mejía Godoy, became the first U.S. soldier to publicly refuse to redeploy as part of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The idea of the son of Sandinista revolutionaries fighting in an imperial invasion appears implausible, even unbelievable. ...

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1. Gender, Difference, and the FSLN Insurrection

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pp. 27-63

In a conversation at her home in Oakland, California, in 2007, Nina Serrano described how she became involved in both Nicaraguan solidarity work and filmmaking. Her story emphasized the significant role of her gender and ethnic identity and the impact these had on her political and artistic orientation. ...

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2. “I Have Something to Tell You”: Polyvocality, Theater, and the Performance of Solidarity in U.S. Latina Narratives of the Guatemalan Civil War

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pp. 64-91

When U.S. media outlets sought to tell the life story of one of the first casualties of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, they found themselves on the streets of Guatemala City, immersed in the reality of a nation still recovering from over thirty years of civil war. José Antonio Gutiérrez, a lance corporal in the U.S. Marines, was killed on March 21, 2003, in Iraq. ...

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3. Demetria Martínez’s Mother Tongue and the Politics of Decolonial Love

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pp. 92-120

In the last homily before his assassination on March 24, 1980, Archbishop Oscar A. Romero of El Salvador exhorted his listeners to understand the political involvement and commitment that love requires. The Gospel, Romero (1985, 191) explained, warns against “[loving] oneself so much as to avoid getting involved in the risks of life that history demands of us.” ...

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4. Father, Army, Nation: Familial Discourse and Ambivalent Homonationalism in José Zuniga’s Soldier of the Year

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pp. 121-155

Prior to President Barack Obama’s rescinding of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT), the U.S. military’s policy toward gay and lesbian service members established during the Clinton administration, radical queer activists offered their own perspective on the place of sexual minorities within the armed forces.1 ...

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5. Camilo Mejía’s Public Rebellion and the Formation of Transnational Latina/o Identity

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pp. 156-188

In his concluding remarks to a collection of testimony by U.S. veterans of the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, Camilo Mejía (2008), chair of the board of Iraq Veterans against the War (IVAW), systematically refutes both neo-imperial and liberal justifications for the continued occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. ...

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pp. 189-196

In 2013 the contemporary music group La Santa Cecilia,1 the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and filmmaker Alex Rivera teamed up to offer a nuanced portrayal of the impact of a militarized immigration policy on the everyday lives of U.S. residents. ...


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pp. 197-214

Works Cited

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pp. 215-228


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pp. 229-234

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About the Author

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Ariana E. Vigil is an assistant professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She holds an MA and PhD from Cornell University and a BA from The Ohio State University. ...

E-ISBN-13: 9780813569352
E-ISBN-10: 0813569354
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813569345

Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2014