Junot Díaz and the Decolonial Imagination

Duke University Press
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The first sustained critical examination of the work of Dominican-American writer Junot Díaz, this interdisciplinary collection considers how Díaz's writing illuminates the world of Latino cultural expression and trans-American and diasporic literary history. Interested in conceptualizing Díaz's decolonial imagination and his radically re-envisioned world, the contributors show how his aesthetic and activist practice reflect a significant shift in American letters toward a hemispheric and planetary culture. They examine the intersections of race, Afro-Latinidad, gender, sexuality, disability, poverty, and power in Díaz's work. Essays in the volume explore issues of narration, language, and humor in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, the racialized constructions of gender and sexuality in Drown and This Is How You Lose Her, and the role of the zombie in the short story "Monstro." Collectively, they situate Díaz’s writing in relation to American and Latin American literary practices and reveal the author’s activist investments. The volume concludes with Paula Moya's interview with Díaz.
Contributors: Glenda R. Carpio, Arlene Dávila, Lyn Di Iorio, Junot Díaz, Monica Hanna, Jennifer Harford Vargas, Ylce Irizarry, Claudia Milian, Julie Avril Minich, Paula M. L. Moya, Sarah Quesada, José David Saldívar, Ramón Saldívar, Silvio Torres-Saillant, Deborah R. Vargas
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About the author

Monica Hanna is Assistant Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at California State University, Fullerton.

Jennifer Harford Vargas is Assistant Professor of English at Bryn Mawr College.

José David Saldívar is Professor of Comparative Literature at Stanford University and the author of Trans-Americanity: Subaltern Modernities, Global Coloniality, and the Cultures of Greater Mexico, also published by Duke University Press.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Duke University Press
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Published on
Dec 17, 2015
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Pages
448
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ISBN
9780822374763
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / American / General
Literary Criticism / American / Hispanic American
Social Science / Ethnic Studies / Hispanic American Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In this groundbreaking study based on archival research about Chicana and Chicano prisoners—known as Pintas and Pintos—as well as fresh interpretations of works by renowned Pinta and Pinto authors and activists, B. V. Olguín provides crucial insights into the central roles that incarceration and the incarcerated have played in the evolution of Chicana/o history, cultural paradigms, and oppositional political praxis.

This is the first text on prisoners in general, and Chicana/o and Latina/o prisoners in particular, that provides a range of case studies from the nineteenth century to the present. Olguín places multiple approaches in dialogue through the pairing of representational figures in the history of Chicana/o incarceration with specific themes and topics. Case studies on the first nineteenth-century Chicana prisoner in San Quentin State Prison, Modesta Avila; renowned late-twentieth-century Chicano poets Raúl Salinas, Ricardo Sánchez, and Jimmy Santiago Baca; lesser-known Chicana pinta and author Judy Lucero; and infamous Chicano drug baron and social bandit Fred Gómez Carrasco are aligned with themes from popular culture such as prisoner tattoo art and handkerchief art, Hollywood Chicana/o gangxploitation and the prisoner film American Me, and prisoner education projects.

Olguín provides a refreshing critical interrogation of Chicana/o subaltern agency, which too often is celebrated as unambiguously resistant and oppositional. As such, this study challenges long-held presumptions about Chicana/o cultures of resistance and proposes important explorations of the complex and contradictory relationship between Chicana/o agency and ideology.

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