Reading U.S. Latina Writers: Remapping American Literature

Dr. Alvina Quintana
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Lillian Castillo-Speed's Latina: Women's Voices from the Borderlands stresses the fact that Latina literature should not be thought of as new. This point becomes more obvious with a quick survey of twentieth-century American history. The sixties created the space for a number of cultural nationalist and student movements which ironically soon became so exclusive that they contributed to internal division and fragmentation. In literary terms, the social unrest of this period ignited a focus shift from literature emphasizing the "old/new world" cultural dilemma found in traditional immigrant literature to representations firmly grounded within a United States homeland context. "Chicano" and "Nuyorican" writers, enthused by the civil-rights movement, the sit-ins, the freedom rides, and boycotts proclaimed new perspectives which like their native-born U.S. status blended English and Spanish speech patterns ultimately creating a new transcultural, interlingual aesthetic.

Although the Latino renaissance explored issues related to creolization, class and identity politics, it provided a limited, predominantly masculine interpretation of history and culture and thus set the momentum for the creation of an alternative Latino vision which in essence synthesized issues relevant to both civil-rights and women's liberation. This presentation will survey the literary production of U.S. Latina writers who can trace their lineage to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Panama.

Keywords: Latina, Creolization, Feminist, Chicana, Nuyorican, Transnational, Interlingual, Women of Color in the U.S.
Stream: Community, Culture, Globalisation
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. Alvina Quintana

Associate Professor, English Department, University of Delaware

Alvina Quintana was born and raised by Mexican parents in San Francisco, California, where she was formally educated. She has taught in a variety of settings which include the Havasupai reservation in Arizona, San Francisco State University, the University of California at Santa Cruz, the University of California at Santa Barbara and the University of Delaware, where she has been on the faculty since 1989. While at the University of Delaware she has directed a number of travel abroad programs in London and Ireland. Currently she is working on a book-length study which explores the commonalities rather than differences found in African American, Asian American, U.S. Latino, and Native American cultural productions.

Ref: L05P0365