Colonial Legacies in Chicana/o Literature and Culture: Looking Through the Kaleidoscope

Colonial Legacies in Chicana/o Literature and Culture: Looking Through the Kaleidoscope

by Vanessa Fonseca-Chavez


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Colonial Legacies in Chicana/o Literature and Culture exposes the ways in which colonialism is expressed in the literary and cultural production of the U.S. Southwest, a region that has experienced at least two distinct colonial periods since the sixteenth century.

Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez traces how Spanish colonial texts reflect the motivation for colonial domination. She argues that layers of U.S. colonialism complicate how Chicana/o literary scholars think about Chicana/o literary and cultural production. She brings into view the experiences of Chicana/o communities that have long-standing ties to the U.S. Southwest but whose cultural heritage is tied through colonialism to multiple nations, including Spain, Mexico, and the United States.

While the legacies of Chicana/o literature simultaneously uphold and challenge colonial constructs, the metaphor of the kaleidoscope makes visible the rupturing of these colonial fragments via political and social urgencies. This book challenges readers to consider the possibilities of shifting our perspectives to reflect on stories told and untold and to advocate for the inclusion of fragmented and peripheral pieces within the kaleidoscope for more complex understandings of individual and collective subjectivities.

This book is intended for readers interested in how colonial legacies are performed in the U.S. Southwest, particularly in the context of New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. Readers will relate to the book’s personal narrative thread that provides a path to understanding fragmented identities.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780816541935
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Publication date: 10/06/2020
Pages: 180
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez is an assistant professor of English at Arizona State University. Her work focuses on colonialism, place studies, and the narratives of southwestern U.S. communities. She is co-editor of Spanish Perspectives on Chicano Literature: Literary and Cultural Essays and Querencia: Reflections on the New Mexico Homeland.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Assembling the Pieces
1. The Sins of Our Fathers
2. Claiming Home and Heritage
3. Harboring History and Identity
4. Colonial Discourses in the Sonoran Desert
Epilogue: On Storytelling and Discontinuous Continuities

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