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Area and Ethnic Studies > American Studies > Hispanic American Studies

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Defending Their Own in the Cold

The Cultural Turns of U.S. Puerto Ricans

Marc Zimmerman

Defending Their Own in the Cold: The Cultural Turns of U.S. Puerto Ricans explores U.S. Puerto Rican culture in past and recent contexts. The book presents East Coast, Midwest, and Chicago cultural production while exploring Puerto Rican musical, film, artistic, and literary performance. Working within the theoretical frame of cultural, postcolonial, and diasporic studies, Marc Zimmerman relates the experience of Puerto Ricans to that of Chicanos and Cuban Americans, showing how even supposedly mainstream U.S. Puerto Ricans participate in a performative culture that embodies elements of possible cultural "Ricanstruction."_x000B__x000B_Defending Their Own in the Cold examines various dimensions of U.S. Puerto Rican artistic life, including relations with other ethnic groups and resistance to colonialism and cultural assimilation. To illustrate how Puerto Ricans have survived and created new identities and relations out of their colonized and diasporic circumstances, Zimmerman looks at the cultural examples of Latino entertainment stars such as Jennifer Lopez and Benicio del Toro, visual artists Juan Sanchez, Ramón Flores, and Elizam Escobar, as well as Nuyorican dancer turned Midwest poet Carmen Pursifull. The book includes a comprehensive chapter on the development of U.S. Puerto Rican literature and a pioneering essay on Chicago Puerto Rican writing. A final essay considers Cuban cultural attitudes towards Puerto Ricans in a testimonial narrative by Miguel Barnet and reaches conclusions about the past and future of U.S. Puerto Rican culture. Zimmerman offers his own "semi-outsider" point of reference as a Jewish American Latin Americanist who grew up near New York City, matured in California, went on to work with and teach Latinos in the Midwest, and eventually married a woman from a Puerto Rican family with island and U.S. roots.

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Defiant Braceros

How Migrant Workers Fought for Racial, Sexual, and Political Freedom

Mireya Loza

In this book, Mireya Loza sheds new light on the private lives of migrant men who participated in the Bracero Program (1942–1964), a binational agreement between the United States and Mexico that allowed hundreds of thousands of Mexican workers to enter this country on temporary work permits. While this program and the issue of temporary workers has long been politicized on both sides of the border, Loza argues that the prevailing romanticized image of braceros as a family-oriented, productive, legal workforce has obscured the real, diverse experiences of the workers themselves. Focusing on underexplored aspects of workers' lives--such as their transnational union-organizing efforts, the sexual economies of both hetero and queer workers, and the ethno-racial boundaries among Mexican indigenous braceros--Loza reveals how these men defied perceived political, sexual, and racial norms.

Basing her work on an archive of more than 800 oral histories from the United States and Mexico, Loza is the first scholar to carefully differentiate between the experiences of mestizo guest workers and the many Mixtec, Zapotec, Purhepecha, and Mayan laborers. In doing so, she captures the myriad ways these defiant workers responded to the intense discrimination and exploitation of an unjust system that still persists today.

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Democratizing Texas Politics

Race, Identity, and Mexican American Empowerment, 1945-2002

By Benjamin Márquez

A senior scholar of Latino political action examines the intriguing incongruities in post–WWII Texas politics, particularly the curious flourishing of Latino leadership during the state’s simultaneous transition to conservatism.

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Departing at Dawn

Gloria Lise

Gloria Lisé's novel describes the neofascist military dictatorship in Argentina (1976-83) from an intimate point of view. It is a powerful portrait of Argentines caught up in the traumas that have haunted their country ever since. Lisé’s lyrical story revolves around Berta, who watches as her lover, a union organizer, is thrown from a balcony to his death the night before military dictator General Jorge Rafael Videla comes to power. Learning that she is on a list to be ‘disappeared,’ Berta flees to live with relatives in the countryside. She receives messages from her town, describing the violence of the junta, and when Berta discovers that government officials are still looking for her, she is forced into exile.

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Dethroning the Deceitful Pork Chop

Rethinking African American Foodways from Slavery to Obama

The fifteen essays collected in Dethroning the Deceitful Pork Chop utilize a wide variety of methodological perspectives to explore African American food expressions from slavery up through the present. The volume offers fresh insights into a growing field beginning to reach maturity. The contributors demonstrate that throughout time black people have used food practices as a means of overtly resisting white oppression—through techniques like poison, theft, deception, and magic—or more subtly as a way of asserting humanity and ingenuity, revealing both cultural continuity and improvisational finesse. Collectively, the authors complicate generalizations that conflate African American food culture with southern-derived soul food and challenge the tenacious hold that stereotypical black cooks like Aunt Jemima and the depersonalized Mammy have on the American imagination. They survey the abundant but still understudied archives of black food history and establish an ongoing research agenda that should animate American food culture scholarship for years to come.

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Dialectics of Exile

Nation, Time, Language, and Space in Hispanic Literatures

by Sophia McClennen

The Dialectics of Exile: Nation, Time, Language and Space in Hispanic Literatures offers a theory of exile writing that accounts for the persistence of these dual impulses and for the ways that they often co exist within the same literary works.

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Diálogo

Vol. 17 (2014) through current issue

A refereed, interdisciplinary journal (Spring/Fall), Diálogo publishes on diverse Latin American and U.S. Latino issues, including Indigenous experience. Submissions, in the Humanities and Social Sciences, are often geared to special themes that help bridge barriers between academic and local communities. Also publishes book/film reviews and interviews. Journal is full-text indexed in MLA International Bibliography and Project Muse, and older issues are available through Digital Commons at DePaul University.

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Digital Dilemmas

The State, the Individual, and Digital Media in Cuba

Cristina Venegas

Digital Dilemmas views Cuba from the Soviet Union's demise to the present, to assess how conflicts over media access play out in their both liberating and repressive potential. Drawing on extensive scholarship and interviews, Cristina Venegas questions myths of how Internet use necessarily fosters global democracy and reveals the impact of new technologies on the country's governance and culture, including film in the context of broader media history, as well as artistic practices such as digital art and networks of diasporic communities connected by the Web.

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Disenchanting Citizenship

Mexican Migrants and the Boundaries of Belonging

Luis F. B. Plascencia

Central to contemporary debates in the United States on migration and migrant policy is the idea of citizenship, and—as apparent in the continued debate over Arizona’s immigration law SB 1070—this issue remains a focal point of contention, with a key concern being whether there should be a path to citizenship for “undocumented” migrants. In Disenchanting Citizenship, Luis F. B. Plascencia examines two interrelated issues: U.S. citizenship and the Mexican migrants’ position in the United States. The book explores the meaning of U.S. citizenship through the experience of a unique group of Mexican migrants who were granted Temporary Status under the “legalization” provisions of the 1986 IRCA, attained Lawful Permanent Residency, and later became U.S. citizens. Plascencia integrates an extensive and multifaceted collection of interviews, ethnographic fieldwork, ethno-historical research, and public policy analysis in examining efforts that promote the acquisition of citizenship, the teaching of citizenship classes, and naturalization ceremonies. Ultimately, he unearths citizenship’s root as a Janus-faced construct that encompasses a simultaneous process of inclusion and exclusion. This notion of citizenship is mapped on to the migrant experience, arguing that the acquisition of citizenship can lead to disenchantment with the very status desired. In the end, Plascencia expands our understanding of the dynamics of U.S. citizenship as a form of membership and belonging.

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Domestic Disturbances

Re-Imagining Narratives of Gender, Labor, and Immigration

By Irene Mata

Domestic Disturbances examines the treatment of the traditional immigrant narrative in popular culture, illuminating the possibilities of alternative stories by reading Chicana/Latina-produced texts through a new interpretation of the immigrant paradigm.

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