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Literature > Latin American and Caribbean Literature

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Masculinity after Trujillo Cover

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Masculinity after Trujillo

The Politics of Gender in Dominican Literature

Maja Horn

Any observer of Dominican political and literary discourse will quickly notice how certain notions of hyper-masculinity permeate the culture. Many critics will attribute this to an outgrowth of "traditional" Latin American patriarchal culture. Masculinity after Trujillo demonstrates why they are mistaken.

In this extraordinary work, Maja Horn argues that this common Dominican attitude became ingrained during the dictatorship (1930-61) of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, as well as through the U.S. military occupation that preceded it. Where previous studies have focused mainly on Spanish colonialism and the controversial sharing of the island with Haiti, Horn emphasizes the underexamined and lasting influence of U.S. imperialism and how it prepared the terrain for Trujillo’s hyperbolic language of masculinity. She also demonstrates how later attempts to emasculate the image of Trujillo often reproduced the same masculinist ideology popularized by his government.

By using the lens of gender politics, Horn enables readers to reconsider the ongoing legacy of the Trujillato, including the relatively weak social movements formed around racial and ethnic identities, sexuality, and even labor. She offers exciting new interpretations of such writers as Hilma Contreras, Rita Indiana Hernández, and Junot Díaz, revealing the ways they successfully challenge dominant political and canonical literary discourses.

Narrating Narcos Cover

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Narrating Narcos

Culiacán and Medellín

by Gabriela Polit Dueñas

Critical examination of cultural works as windows into the symbolic dimensions and representations of the narcotics world in Culiacán, Mexico, and Medellín, Colombia, two of the most notorious drug-producing areas of the Americas. Through text analyses, ethnographic fieldwork, and archival research, Polit Dueñas examines the impact and representation of new codes of ethics and morals associated with the drug trade. The analysis is a comparative view of the emerging forms in which fiction writers and artists represent violence and the culture of violence associated with narcotrafficking (both within and across class, racial, ethnic, gender, and generational lines) in both cities.

Nation Dance Cover

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Nation Dance

Religion, Identity, and Cultural Difference in the Caribbean

Edited by Patrick Taylor

Nation Dance
Religion, Identity, and Cultural Difference in the Caribbean

Edited by Patrick Taylor

Addresses the interplay of diverse spiritual, religious, and cultural traditions across the Caribbean.

Dealing with the ongoing interaction of rich and diverse cultural traditions from Cuba and Jamaica to Guyana and Surinam, Nation Dance addresses some of the major contemporary issues in the study of Caribbean religion and identity. The book's three sections move from a focus on spirituality and healing, to theology in social and political context, and on to questions of identity and diaspora.

The book begins with the voices of female practitioners and then offers a broad, interdisciplinary examination of Caribbean religion and culture. Afro-Caribbean religions, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are all addressed, with specific reflections on Santería, Palo Monte, Vodou, Winti, Obeah, Kali Mai, Orisha work, Spiritual Baptist faith, Spiritualism, Rastafari, Confucianism, Congregationalism, Pentecostalism, Catholicism, and liberation theology. Some essays are based on fieldwork, archival research, and textual or linguistic analysis, while others are concerned with methodological or theoretical issues. Contributors include practitioners and scholars, some very established in the field, others with fresh, new approaches; all of them come from the region or have done extensive fieldwork or research there. In these essays the poetic vitality of the practitioner's voice meets the attentive commitment of the postcolonial scholar in a dance of "nations" across the waters.

Patrick Taylor, Associate Professor in the Division of Humanities and in the Graduate Programme in Social and Political Thought at York University, Toronto, is past Deputy Director of the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean and Editor-in-Chief of the Caribbean Religions Project. He is author of The Narrative of Liberation: Perspectives on Afro-Caribbean Literature, Popular Culture and Politics and co-editor of Forging Identities and Patterns of Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. His articles have appeared in Callaloo, Studies in Religion, and other scholarly journals and books.

May 2001
224 pages, 1 b&w photo, 1 map, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4, bibl., index
cloth 0-253-33835-2 $39.95 L /

New Spain, New Literatures Cover

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New Spain, New Literatures

Edited by Luis Martín-Estudillo and Nicholas Spadaccini

This volume, which includes essays on Catalonia, the Basque country, Galicia, and literature written by African immigrants, focuses on issues of "difference" that are at the center of current debates in Spain and elsewhere--the emergence of minoritized literatures, multilingualism and identity, new relationships between culture and institutions, the negotiation of historical memories, the connections between migrations and the redefinition of nationhood, and the impact of global trends on local symbolic systems.

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New World Poetics

Nature and the Adamic Imagination of Whitman, Neruda, and Walcott

George B. Handley

A simultaneously ecocritical and comparative study, New World Poetics plumbs the earthly depth and social breadth of the poetry of Walt Whitman, Pablo Neruda, and Derek Walcott, three of the Americas' most ambitious and epic-minded poets. In Whitman's call for a poetry of New World possibility, Neruda's invocation of an "American love," and Walcott's investment in the poetic ironies of an American epic, the adamic imagination of their poetry does not reinvent the mythical Garden that stands before history's beginnings but instead taps the foundational powers of language before a natural world deeply imbued with the traces of human time. Theirs is a postlapsarian Adam seeking a renewed sense of place in a biocentric and cross-cultural New World through language and nature's capacity for regeneration in the wake of human violence and suffering.

The book introduces the environmental history of the Americas and its relationship to the foundation of American and Latin American studies, explores its relevance to each poet's ambition to recuperate the New World's lost histories, and provides a transnational poetics of understanding literary influence and textual simultaneity in the Americas. The study provides much needed in-depth ecocritical readings of the major poems of the three poets, insisting on the need for thoughtful regard for the challenge to human imagination and culture posed by nature's regenerative powers; nuanced appreciation for the difficulty of balancing the demands of social justice within the context of deep time; and the symptomatic dangers as well as healing potential of human self-consciousness in light of global environmental degradation.

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Nossa and Nuestra América

Inter-American Dialogues

by Robert Patrick Newcomb

Is Brazil part of Latin America, or an island unto itself? As Nossa and Nuestra América: Inter-American Dialogues demonstrates, this question has been debated by Brazilian and Spanish American intellectuals alike since the early nineteenth century, though it has received limited scholarly attention and its answer is less obvious than you might think. This book charts Brazil’s evolving and often conflicted relationship with the idea of Latin America through a detailed comparative investigation of four crucial Latin American essayists: Uruguayan critic José Enrique Rodó, Brazilian writer-diplomat Joaquim Nabuco, Mexican humanist Alfonso Reyes, and Sérgio Buarque de Holanda, one of Brazil’s preeminent historians. While these writers are canonical figures in their respective national literary traditions, their thoughts on Brazilian–Spanish American relations are seldom investigated, and they are rarely approached from a comparative perspective. In Nossa and Nuestra América, Newcomb traces the development of two parallel essayistic traditions: Spanish American continentalist discourse and Brazil’s solidly national exegetic tradition. With these essayistic traditions in mind, he argues that Brazil plays a necessary—and necessarily problematic—role in the intellectual construction of “Latin America.” Further, in traversing the Luso-Hispanic frontier and bringing four of Latin America’s preeminent thinkers into critical dialogue, Newcomb calls for a truly comparative approach to Luso-Brazilian and Spanish American literary and cultural studies. Nossa and Nuestra América will be of interest to scholars and students of Latin American and Luso-Brazilian literature and ideas, and to anyone interested in rethinking comparative approaches to literary texts written in Portuguese and Spanish.

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Nuevo Texto Crítico

Vol. 21 (2008) through current issue

Nuevo Texto Crítico is an academic publication sponsored by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Center of Latin American Studies at Stanford University. Since its foundation in 1988 Nuevo Texto Crítico has been recognized as a leading journal in the fields of analysis and criticism of Latin American literature and film. One of its main objectives has always been to bring both to the educated and the general reader the best critical materials at the highest level of research, as a means of understanding how modern culture develops in every Latin American country in national and trans-national ways.

On Latinidad Cover

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On Latinidad

U.S. Latino Literature and the Construction of Ethnicity

Marta Caminero-Santangelo

This is the first book to address head-on the question of how Latino/a literature wrestles with the pan-ethnic and trans-racial implications of the "Latino" label.

Refusing to take latinidad (Latino-ness) for granted, Marta Caminero-Santangelo lays the groundwork for a sophisticated understanding of the various manifestations of "Latino" identity. She examines texts by prominent Chicano/a, Dominican American, Puerto Rican, and Cuban American writers--including Julia Alvarez, Cristina García, Achy Obejas, Piri Thomas, and Ana Castillo--and concludes that a pre-existing "group" does not exist. The author instead argues that much recent Latino/a literature presents a vision of tentative, forged solidarities in the service of particular and sometimes even local struggles. She shows that even magical realism can figure as a threat to collectivity, rather than as a signifier of it, because magical connections--to nature, between characters, and to Latin American origins--can undermine efforts at solidarity and empowerment.

In the author's close reading of both fictional and cultural narratives, she suggests the possibility that Latino identity may be even more elastic than the authors under question recognize.

One Hundred Years after Tomorrow Cover

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One Hundred Years after Tomorrow

Brazilian Women's Fiction in the Twentieth Century

Edited and translated by Darlene J. Sadlier

"Appearing for the first time in English, these stories express the anguish and courage of women from their different classes and regions as they recognize their common restlessness and forge a new consciousness."  -- Booklist

"... provocative... Although not all the pieces are outwardly political, there is a political edge to the book; the tone of the stories is bleak as they tell of Brazilian women's struggles with government, society, men and their own private demons. Sadlier's able translations retain a distinctive voice and style for each writer." -- Publishers Weekly

"Sadlier... has done a service to students of Comparative Literature and Women's Studies as well as to general readers who sincerely want to know what literature of quality is being written in that all-too-rarely studied Portuguese language of Brazil."  -- Revista de Estudios Hispanicos

"The pieces... convey... the evolution in the consciousness of the writers, their sense of themselves, and their place in society as well as the changes affecting Brazil's political climate and society at large during this century."  -- Review of Contemporary Fiction

"A superb addition to the increasing number of anthologies dedicated to Brazilian literature." -- Choice

"A must for any modern literary collection." -- WLW Journal

Women writers have revolutionized Brazilian literature, and this impressive collection will provide English readers with a window on this revolution. These twenty previously untranslated selections by some of Brazil's most important writers illustrate the remarkable power of women's voices and the important contributions they have made to twentieth-century literature.

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Orientalismo en el Modernismo Hispanoamericano

by Araceli Tinajero

Araceli Tinajero's Orientalismo en el modernismo hispanoamericano falls within the present revisionist trend with respect to Spanish American modernism of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The text's uniqueness stems from its focus on allusions to images, artifacts, and thought from the East—primarily Japan—found in central and peripheral writings within the Spanish American movement.

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