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Title:In transit: travel and mobility in Latina art and literature
Author(s):Ruiz, Ariana A
Director of Research:Rodriguez, Richard T.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Rodriguez, Richard T.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Parker, Robert D.; Koshy, Susan; Nguyen, Mimi T.; Brady, Mary Pat
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Social Sciences
Language, literature and linguistics
Abstract:The myth of American travel and mobility has long shaped ideas of nation and national identity. In postwar cultural production, to move freely is to enact rights governed by U.S. citizenship. Mobility is thus an embodied social, cultural, and political exercise that informs the production of an ideal national subject. Yet, access to and participation in mobile practices is deeply fraught around issues of difference. This project therefore considers Latina engagement with the promise of travel and mobility, drawing attention to the limits of citizenship and complicating the homogenizing tendencies of Latino identity formation. While other scholars primarily focus on Latino mobility through the lens of subjugation and migrant labor, my analysis attends to generational cultural shifts and changing socio-economic conditions. Throughout the study, I focus on the work of Latina artists like Helena Maria Viramontes, Cristina Henríquez, Michele Serros, and Erika Lopez to show how Latinas adopt various modes of travel and mobility that refute fixity in order to forge cross-cultural affiliations on local and global scales. My work sees Latina movement not simply as reenacting U.S. mobility, but also as a complex raced and gendered action anchored in particular political and cultural realities. Reading Latinas’ engagement with postwar mobility-cum-citizenship, "In Transit" considers how rearticulations of space and time serve to challenge exclusionary practices from within and beyond Latino communities. By considering Latina mobility at various geographic, temporal, and cultural scales, this project complicates Latino literary and cultural theory which tends to separate texts as either resistant or assimilationist. Instead, I see Latinidad as less tied geographically to the U.S. and more about the interplay of gender, class, race, sexuality, space, and time. I provide readings of cultural texts that represent Latinas on “unexpected” paths, thus responding to and reimagining travel down routes heretofore untaken.
Issue Date:2015-07-17
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Ariana Ruiz
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-29
Date Deposited:August 201

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