Cultural Twins and National Others: Literary Allegories of Interlatino Subjects

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This essay traces various literary and scholarly articulations of what I call intralatino subjectivities. First, I examine the power dynamics, identifications and divergences in the interactions and encounters between two latinos of different national origin, and secondly, the identity negotiations and complexities of the intralatino/a subject, that is, the subject that has two or more different Latino national identities, such as the MexiRican. By tracing these discourses of representation in various scholarly texts, I examine the way in which these intralatino/a sites have been represented both as utopian cultural spaces and as sites of complicated and contradictory cultural borrowings and influences. A detailed reading of two novels, Memory Mambo by Achy Obejas, and Mothertongue by Demetria Martinez, proposes that these two fictional texts are allegorical explorations of intralatino/a relations. A reading of these two novels from the point of view of the colonial analogies between groups serves well in understanding the potential that Latinos have as a pan-identity to create points of solidarity and convergence while still maintaining respect for each other's differences and specificities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIdentities: Global Studies in Culture and Power
StatePublished - 2009


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