Postnationalism in Chicana/o Literature and Culture

Postnationalism in Chicana/o Literature and Culture

Postnationalism in Chicana/o Literature and Culture

Postnationalism in Chicana/o Literature and Culture

Synopsis

In recent decades, Chicana/o literary and cultural productions have dramatically shifted from a nationalist movement that emphasized unity to one that openly celebrates diverse experiences. Charting this transformation,Postnationalism in Chicana/o Literature and Culturelooks to the late 1970s, during a resurgence of global culture, as a crucial turning point whose reverberations in twenty-first-century late capitalism have been profound. Arguing for a post-nationalism that documents the radical politics and aesthetic processes of the past while embracing contemporary cultural and socio-political expressions among Chicana/o peoples, Hernández links the multiple forces at play in these interactions. Reconfiguring text-based analysis, she looks at the comparative development of movements within women's rights and LGBTQI activist circles. Incorporating economic influences, this unique trajectory leads to a new conception of border studies as well, rethinking the effects of a restructured masculinity as a symbol of national cultural transformation. Ultimately positing that globalization has enhanced the emergence of new Chicana/o identities, Hernández cultivates important new understandings of borderlands identities and post-nationalism itself.

Excerpt

In this book I consider postnationalism as a precursor to Chicana/o transnational culture, though some prefer the term “borderlands” or even “Latina/o globalization” to discuss the myriad dislocations of U.S. Mexican-American culture developing over the past thirty years. Throughout the book, I enumerate the processes by which Chicanas/os gain entry into transnational cultural formations. No single social, political, or disciplinary process provides a thorough answer to all facets of transnational identity. While traditional elements of nationhood or of belonging, in the case of national minorities, still exist in ethnic, race, and class structures, I conclude that gender and sexuality offer more varied responses to the idea of the dissolution of the nation than any other identity process. I thus argue that gender and sexuality are categories that arose in response to exclusion from the nation. It is from this location that gender and sexuality may help us better understand how people construct desires, produce their own social critiques, and formulate useful interpretations of the changing world.

The issues I raise in this book develop from an interdisciplinary frame of analysis; I look at the transformation of a nationalist-based identity in studying Chicanas/os living in the United States. Interdisciplinary models, rather than identity-based methods or perspectives, will be necessary in the twenty-first century to comprehend global culture's complexity and its many faces. The trajectory I track is specifically the social categories of gender and sexuality as central to the emergence of Chicana/o transnational culture. Although such other areas of interest as immigration, drug trafficking, and commerce suggest immediately a predominantly economic notion of the transnational, they do not account for more provocative social and political formations. In transnational fields of study, gender and sexuality alone do not create a basis for Chicanas/os' emergence into transnational global culture; however, the categories are critical for understanding how . . .

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