cover of book
 

Conjured Bodies: Queer Racialization in Contemporary Latinidad
by Laura Grappo
University of Texas Press, 2022
Cloth: 978-1-4773-2519-3 | eISBN: 978-1-4773-2521-6 | Paper: 978-1-4773-2520-9
Library of Congress Classification E184.S75G73 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 305.868073

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK

Is Latinidad a racial or an ethnic designation? Both? Neither? The increasing recognition of diversity within Latinx communities and the well-known story of shifting census designations have cast doubt on the idea that Latinidad is a race, akin to white or Black. And the mainstream media constantly cover the “browning” of the United States, as though the racial character of Latinidad were self-evident.


Many scholars have argued that the uncertainty surrounding Latinidad is emancipatory: by queering race—by upsetting assumptions about categories of human difference—Latinidad destabilizes the architecture of oppression. But Laura Grappo is less sanguine. She draws on case studies including the San Antonio Four (Latinas who were wrongfully accused of child sex abuse); the football star Aaron Hernandez’s incarceration and suicide; Lorena Bobbitt, the headline-grabbing Ecuadorian domestic-abuse survivor; and controversies over the racial identities of public Latinx figures to show how media institutions and state authorities deploy the ambiguities of Latinidad in ways that mystify the sources of Latinx political and economic disadvantage. With Latinidad always in a state of flux, it is all too easy for the powerful to conjure whatever phantoms serve their interests.

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