An Inclusive Litany

10/2/02

Promotional text for Voicing Chicana Feminisms: Young Women Speak Out on Sexuality and Identity, by Aida Hurtado, forthcoming from New York University Press:

Chicana voices are missing from the psychology of women. Though "Chicana feminisms" have only recently been enumerated, a feminist perspective has long existed in Chicano communities without ever having been explicitly named. Grounded in specific aspects of Chicano culture such as the contested role of La Malinche and the complexities of Marianismo, the distinguishing feature of Chicana feminisms has been their embrace of diversity. Chicanas readily ascribe to many feminisms and do not expect there to be only one.

Focusing on young women between the ages of 20 and 30, Chicanas Speak Feminisms explores the relationship between Chicana feminism and the lived experiences of Chicanas. What do they see as their day-to-day manifestation of feminist consciousness? What is the relationship between what Chicana feminists propose and their lived experiences as women and as members of other significant social groups? Including rich ethnographic testimony based on questionnaires, in-depth interviews, and shadowing, Hurtado allows the women to speak in their own terms about how they see their femininity, sexuality, gender identity, ethnic/racial identity, and ties to other feminisms and political struggles.

Another NYU Press offering, Queer Latinidad: Identity Practices, Discursive Spaces, by Juana Maria Rodriguez:

According to the 2000 census, Latinos/as have become the largest ethnic minority group in the United States. Images of Latinos and Latinas in mainstream news and in popular culture suggest a Latin Explosion at center stage, yet the topic of queer identity in relation to Latino/a America remains under examined.

Juana Marma Rodriguez attempts to rectify this dearth of scholarship in Queer Latinidad: Identity Practices, Discursive Spaces, by documenting the ways in which identities are transformed by encounters with language, the law, culture, and public policy. She identifies three key areas as the project's case studies: activism, primarily HIV prevention; immigration law; and cyberspace. In each, Rodrmguez theorizes the ways queer Latino/a identities are enabled or constrained, melding several theoretical and methodological approaches to argue that these sites are complex and dynamic social fields.

As she moves the reader from one disciplinary location to the other, Rodriguez reveals the seams of her own academic engagement with queer latinidad. This deftly crafted work represents a dynamic and innovative approach to the study of identity formation and representation, making a vital contribution to a new reformulation of gender and sexuality studies.

From the University of Minnesota Press, Masking and Power: Carnival and Popular Culture in the Caribbean, by Gerard Aching:

Does the mask reveal more than it conceals? What, this book asks, becomes visible and invisible in the masking practiced in Caribbean cultures—not only in the familiar milieu of the carnival but in political language, social conduct, and cultural expressions that mimic, misrepresent, and mislead? Focusing on masking as a socially significant practice in Caribbean cultures, Gerard Aching's analysis articulates masking, mimicry, and misrecognition as a means of describing and interrogating strategies of visibility and invisibility in Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Martinique, and beyond.

Masking and Power uses ethnographic fieldwork, psychoanalysis, and close literary readings to examine encounters between cultural insiders as these locals mask themselves and one another either to counter the social invisibility imposed on them or to maintain their socioeconomic privileges. Aching exposes the ways in which strategies of masking and mimicry, once employed to negotiate subjectivities within colonial regimes, have been appropriated for state purposes and have become, with the arrival of self-government in the islands, the means by which certain privileged locals make a show of national and cultural unity even as they engage in the privatization of popular culture and its public performances.

More from the website of Duke University Press:

Thinking Through September 11

Dissent from the Homeland: Essays after September 11
Stanley Hauerwas and Frank Lentriccia, special issue editors

In this special issue of the South Atlantic Quarterly (101:2), well-known writers and scholars from across the humanities and social sciences take a critical look at U.S. domestic and foreign policies—past and present—as well as the recent surge of patriotism. The contributors address questions such as why the Middle East harbors a deep-seated hatred for the U.S. and whether the U.S. drive to win the Cold War made the nation more like its enemies. These dissenting voices provide a thought-provoking alternative to the apparently overwhelming public approval, both at home and abroad, of the U.S. military response to the September 11 attacks. Also featured as a visual document of the devastation of the attacks is a photo-essay by James Nachtwey.

September 11—A Public Emergency?
Ella Shohat, Stefano Harney, Randy Martin, Timothy Mitchell, and Fred Moten, special issue editors for the Social Text Collective

This special issue of Social Text (#72) aims to move beyond public discourse toward thoughtful analysis. The editors argue that the challenge for the Left is to develop an antiterrorism stance that acknowledges the legacy of U.S. trade and foreign policy as well as the diversity of the Muslim faith and the dangers presented by fundamentalism of all kinds. This issue includes poetry, photographic work, and an article by Judith Butler on the discursive space surrounding the attacks of September 11.

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