Latino/a engagement with Shakespeare presents a vital point of contact for us to reevaluate Shakespeare’s cultural currency in our contemporary, multiethnic society. By attending to dominant perceptions that shape Shakespeare’s iconic literary status, this essay explores how the dynamics of identity politics for Latino/as cast a novel light on the promise and the failings of Shakespeare studies amid the shifting demographic in America. This essay looks to the stranger—to a Latino/a audience and to Mexican Americans in particular—to examine how the anxieties and apprehensions that surround the Mexican American experience have the potential to lead us toward readings that both reimagine the valence of Shakespeare’s cultural capital and stand to enrich the future of Shakespeare studies. Through critical attention to linguistic differences, pressures of assimilation, perceived deficiencies and invisibility of Latino/as, accessibility and exclusion, and delineations of the way Shakespeare should look and sound, this essay opens the door to scrutinizing our academy’s seeming apprehension when it comes to issues of race, ethnicity, and diversity in our field. Such attention stands to guide us to see anew not only Shakespeare but also the future makers of Shakespeare.


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pp. 51-67
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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