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Title:The underside of borders: reading Chican@ and Native American literature at the turn of the twenty-first century
Author(s):Quintana Wulf, Isabel
Director of Research:Rodriguez, Richard T.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Rodriguez, Richard T.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Somerville, Siobhan B.; Parker, Robert D.; Byrd, Jodi A.; Castro, Nancy E.
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Chican@ literature
Native American literature
contemporary US literature
comparative studies
metaphorical borders
reservation borders
ideological constructions
Abstract:“The Underside of Borders: Reading Chican@ and Native American Literature at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century” focuses on Chican@ and Native American novels published from 1990 to the present. Teasing out the common denominators of different methodologies grouped under the umbrella term “border theory,” my project expands the material and discursive range of the field, creating a critical platform that puts Native American and Chican@ concerns in conversation. Finding common ground between these two bodies of literature in overlapping histories of colonialism, violence, and oppression, this comparative project takes on the literary representation of borders both as geopolitical lines and metaphorical constructs. The analysis in it draws connections between the ideologies that shape the discourse around borders in the cultural imaginary and the pervasive violence that mires Indigenous and Chican@ histories in the US. In doing so, I reveal discursive spaces where issues relevant to Chican@ and American Indian Studies converge, overlap, and stand at odds. Using literary examples from Chican@ and Native American writers my project expands our understanding of how borders affect the way we read each other culturally and socially. To this end, I draw a connection between the ideological premises underlying processes of Americanization and the violence inflicted on non-dominant histories and lived experiences that disrupt a homogeneous and sanitized version of national genealogy. Overall, I argue for a critical perspective attuned to the implications of borders, a perspective that gives voice to peoples and historical narratives often willfully erased by master narratives of the nation.
Issue Date:2013-08-22
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Isabel Quintana Wulf
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-08-22
Date Deposited:2013-08

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