In their debut picture book, Frederick Luis Aldama and Chris Escobar invite young readers along on the adventures of Chupacabra Charlie, a polite, handsome, and unusually tall ten-year-old chupacabra yearning for adventure beyond the edge of los Estados Unidos. Little does Charlie know when he befriends a young human, Lupe, that together, with only some leftover bacon quesadillas and a few cans of Jumex, they might just encounter more adventure than they can handle. Along the way, they meet strange people and terrifying danger, and their bravery will be put to the test. Thankfully, Charlie is a reassuring and winsome companion who never doubts that he and Lupe will return safely home.
With magical realism, allegory, and gentle humor, Aldama and Escobar have created a story that will resonate with young and old readers alike as it incorporates folklore into its subtle take on the current humanitarian crisis at the border.
Through a series of provocative conversations, Frederick Luis Aldama and Herbert Lindenberger, who have written widely on literature, film, music, and art, locate a place for the discomforting and the often painfully unpleasant within aesthetics. The conversational format allows them to travel informally across many centuries and many art forms. They have much to tell one another about the arts since the advent of modernism soon after 1900—the nontonal music, for example, of the Second Vienna School, the chance-directed music and dance of John Cage and Merce Cunningham, the in-your-faceness of such diverse visual artists as Francis Bacon, Pablo Picasso, Willem de Kooning, Egon Schiele, Otto Dix, and Damien Hirst. They demonstrate as well a long tradition of discomforting art stretching back many centuries, for example, in the Last Judgments of innumerable Renaissance painters, in Goya’s so-called “black” paintings, in Wagner’s Tristan chord, and in the subtexts of Shakespearean works such as King Lear and Othello. This book is addressed at once to scholars of literature, art history, musicology, and cinema. Although its conversational format eschews the standard conventions of scholarly argument, it provides original insights both into particular art forms and into individual works within these forms. Among other matters, it demonstrates how recent work in neuroscience may provide insights in the ways that consumers process difficult and discomforting works of art. The book also contributes to current aesthetic theory by charting the dialogue that goes on—especially in aesthetically challenging works—between creator, artifact, and consumer.
Why are many readers drawn to stories that texture ethnic experiences and identities other than their own? How do authors such as Salman Rushdie and Maxine Hong Kingston, or filmmakers in Bollywood or Mexico City produce complex fiction that satisfies audiences worldwide? In Analyzing World Fiction, fifteen renowned luminaries use tools of narratology and insights from cognitive science and neurobiology to provide answers to these questions and more.
With essays ranging from James Phelan's "Voice, Politics, and Judgments in Their Eyes Were Watching God" and Hilary Dannenberg's "Narrating Multiculturalism in British Media: Voice and Cultural Identity in Television" to Ellen McCracken's exploration of paratextual strategies in Chicana literature, this expansive collection turns the tide on approaches to postcolonial and multicultural phenomena that tend to compress author and narrator, text and real life. Striving to celebrate the art of fiction, the voices in this anthology explore the "ingredients" that make for powerful, universally intriguing, deeply human story-weaving.
Systematically synthesizing the tools of narrative theory along with findings from the brain sciences to analyze multicultural and postcolonial film, literature, and television, the contributors pioneer new techniques for appreciating all facets of the wonder of storytelling.
The rise of digital media and globalization’s intensification since the 1990s have significantly refigured global cinema’s form and content. The coincidence of digitalization and globalization has produced what this book helps to define and describe as a flourishing border cinema whose aesthetics reflect, construct, intervene in, denature, and reconfigure geopolitical borders. This collection demonstrates how border cinema resists contemporary border fortification processes, showing how cinematic media have functioned technologically and aesthetically to engender contemporary shifts in national and individual identities while proposing alternative conceptions of these identities to those promulgated by the often restrictive current political rhetoric and ideologies that represent a backlash to globalization.
Common conceptions permeating U.S. ethnic queer theory tend to confuse aesthetics with real-world acts and politics. Often Chicano/a representations of gay and lesbian experiences in literature and film are analyzed simply as propaganda. The cognitive, emotional, and narrational ingredients (that is, the subject matter and the formal traits) of those representations are frequently reduced to a priori agendas that emphasize a politics of difference. In this book, Frederick Luis Aldama follows an entirely different approach. He investigates the ways in which race and gay/lesbian sexuality intersect and operate in Chicano/a literature and film while taking into full account their imaginative nature and therefore the specific kind of work invested in them. Also, Aldama frames his analyses within today's larger (globalized) context of postcolonial literary and filmic canons that seek to normalize heterosexual identity and experience. Throughout the book, Aldama applies his innovative approach to throw new light on the work of authors Arturo Islas, Richard Rodriguez, John Rechy, Ana Castillo, and Sheila Ortiz Taylor, as well as that of film director Edward James Olmos. In doing so, Aldama aims to integrate and deepen Chicano literary and filmic studies within a comparative perspective. Aldama's unusual juxtapositions of narrative materials and cultural personae, and his premise that literature and film produce fictional examples of a social and historical reality concerned with ethnic and sexual issues largely unresolved, make this book relevant to a wide range of readers.
The Cinema of Robert Rodriguez
By Frederick Luis Aldama University of Texas Press, 2014 Library of Congress PN1998.3.R633A64 2015 | Dewey Decimal 791.430233092
Robert Rodriguez stands alone as the most successful U.S. Latino filmmaker today, whose work has single-handedly brought U.S. Latino filmmaking into the mainstream of twenty-first-century global cinema. Rodriguez is a prolific (eighteen films in twenty-one years) and all-encompassing filmmaker who has scripted, directed, shot, edited, and scored nearly all his films since his first breakout success, El Mariachi, in 1992. With new films constantly coming out and the launch of his El Rey Network television channel, he receives unceasing coverage in the entertainment media, but systematic scholarly study of Rodriguez’s films is only just beginning.
The Cinema of Robert Rodriguez offers the first extended investigation of this important filmmaker’s art. Accessibly written for fans as well as scholars, it addresses all of Rodriguez’s feature films through Spy Kids 4 and Machete Kills, and his filmmaking process from initial inspiration, to script, to film (with its myriad visual and auditory elements and choices), to final product, to (usually) critical and commercial success. In addition to his close analysis of Rodriguez’s work, Frederick Luis Aldama presents an original interview with the filmmaker, in which they discuss his career and his relationship to the film industry. This entertaining and much-needed scholarly overview of Rodriguez’s work shines new light on several key topics, including the filmmaker’s creative, low-cost, efficient approach to filmmaking; the acceptance of Latino films and filmmakers in mainstream cinema; and the consumption and reception of film in the twenty-first century.
Con Papá / With Papá
Frederick Luis Aldama and Nicky Rodriguez The Ohio State University Press, 2022 Library of Congress PZ73.A491274 2022
¡Con papá todo es posible! Con ilustraciones divertidas e imágenes ricas, este amable libro bilingüe para las edades de 3–8 celebra a los padres, les niñes y la identidad Latinx mientras lleva a los lectores en un viaje de crecimiento y descubrimiento de la niñez. Desde la entrega de las alas del dios serpiente a los brazos seguros de Papá hasta presenciar el tapiz mágico de las estrellas, Con Papá / With Papá nos muestra el mundo a través de los ojos de une niñe, de la mano de Papá, hasta que estén listos para emprender sus propias aventuras.
With Papá, anything is possible! With playful illustrations and rich imagery, this gentle bilingual story for ages 3–8 celebrates fathers, children, and Latinx identity as it takes readers on a childhood journey of growth and discovery. From delivery from the serpent god’s wings to Papá’s safe arms to witnessing the magical tapestry of stars, Con Papá / With Papá shows us the world through a child’s eyes, hand in hand with Papá, until they are ready to set off on their own adventures.
In recent years, few areas of research have advanced as rapidly as cognitive science, the study of the human mind and brain. A fundamentally interdisciplinary field, cognitive science has both inspired and been advanced by work in the arts and humanities. In Conversations on Cognitive Cultural Studies: Literature, Language, and Aesthetics, Frederick Luis Aldama and Patrick Colm Hogan, two of the most prominent experts on the intersection of mind, brain, and culture, engage each other in a lively dialog that sets out the foundations of a cognitive neuroscientific approach to literature. Despite their shared premises, Aldama and Hogan differ—sometimes sharply—on key issues; their discussion therefore presents the reader not with a single doctrine, but with options for consideration—an appropriate result in this dynamic field.
With clarity and learning, Aldama and Hogan consider five central topics at the intersection of literature and cognitive science. They begin with the fundamental question of the nature of the self. From here, they turn to language, communication, and thought before moving on to the central issue of the structure and operation of narrative. The book concludes with thought-provoking explorations of aesthetics and politics. Illustrating their arguments with work that ranges from graphic fiction and popular cinema to William Faulkner and Bertolt Brecht, Aldama and Hogan leave the reader with a clear sense of what cognitive cultural studies have already achieved and the significant promise the discipline holds for the future.
Frederick Aldama’s The Cinema of Robert Rodriguez (2014) was the first full-scale study of one of the most prolific and significant Latino directors making films today. In this companion volume, Aldama enlists a corps of experts to analyze a majority of Rodriguez’s feature films, from his first break-out success El Mariachi in 1992 to Machete in 2010. The essays explore the formal and thematic features present in his films from the perspectives of industry (context, convention, and distribution), the film blueprint (auditory and visual ingredients), and consumption (ideal and real audiences). The authors illuminate the manifold ways in which Rodriguez’s films operate internally (plot, character, and event) and externally (audience perception, thought, and feeling).
The volume is divided into three parts: “Matters of Mind and Media” includes essays that use psychoanalytic and cognitive psychology to shed light on how Rodriguez’s films complicate Latino identity, as well as how they succeed in remaking audiences’ preconceptions of the world. “Narrative Theory, Cognitive Science, and Sin City: A Case Study” offers tools and models of analysis for the study of Rodriguez’s film re-creation of a comic book (on which Frank Miller was credited as codirector). “Aesthetic and Ontological Border Crossings and Borderlands” considers how Rodriguez’s films innovatively critique fixed notions of Latino identity and experience, as well as open eyes to racial injustices. As a whole, the volume demonstrates how Rodriguez’s career offers critical insights into the filmmaking industry, the creative process, and the consuming and reception of contemporary film.
Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities
Edited by Arturo J. Aldama and Frederick Luis Aldama University of Arizona Press, 2020 Library of Congress E184.S75D43 2020 | Dewey Decimal 305.388968073
Latinx hypersexualized lovers or kingpin predators pulsate from our TVs, smartphones, and Hollywood movie screens. Tweets from the executive office brand Latinxs as bad-hombre hordes and marauding rapists and traffickers. A-list Anglo historical figures like Billy the Kid haunt us with their toxic masculinities. These are the themes creatively explored by the eighteen contributors in Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities.
Together they explore how legacies of colonization and capitalist exploitation and oppression have created toxic forms of masculinity that continue to suffocate our existence as Latinxs. And while the authors seek to identify all cultural phenomena that collectively create reductive, destructive, and toxic constructions of masculinity that traffic in misogyny and homophobia, they also uncover the many spaces—such as Xicanx-Indígena languages, resistant food cultures, music performances, and queer Latinx rodeo practices—where Latinx communities can and do exhale healing masculinities.
With unity of heart and mind, the creative and the scholarly, Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities opens wide its arms to all non-binary, decolonial masculinities today to grow a stronger, resilient, and more compassionate new generation of Latinxs tomorrow.
Arturo J. Aldama
Frederick Luis Aldama
T. Jackie Cuevas
Gabriel S. Estrada
Jonathan D. Gomez
Ellie D. Hernández
Sergio A. Macías
L. Pancho McFarland
Alejandra Benita Portillos
Francisco E. Robles
Lisa Sánchez González
Nicholas Villanueva Jr.
From the influential work of Los Bros Hernandez in Love & Rockets, to comic strips and political cartoons, to traditional superheroes made nontraditional by means of racial and sexual identity (e.g., Miles Morales/Spider-Man), comics have become a vibrant medium to express Latino identity and culture. Indeed, Latino fiction and nonfiction narratives are rapidly proliferating in graphic media as diverse and varied in form and content as is the whole of Latino culture today.
Graphic Borders presents the most thorough exploration of comics by and about Latinos currently available. Thirteen essays and one interview by eminent and rising scholars of comics bring to life this exciting graphic genre that conveys the distinctive and wide-ranging experiences of Latinos in the United States. The contributors’ exhilarating excavations delve into the following areas: comics created by Latinos that push the boundaries of generic conventions; Latino comic book author-artists who complicate issues of race and gender through their careful reconfigurations of the body; comic strips; Latino superheroes in mainstream comics; and the complex ways that Latino superheroes are created and consumed within larger popular cultural trends. Taken as a whole, the book unveils the resplendent riches of comics by and about Latinos and proves that there are no limits to the ways in which Latinos can be represented and imagined in the world of comics.
Chupacabra Charlie es un chupacabras de diez años educado, guapo e inusualmente alto que anhela la aventura más allá de los límites de México, pero no muy al norte. Poco sabe Charlie cuando se hace amigo de una joven humana, Lupe, que juntos, con solo algunas quesadillas de tocino y algunas latas de Jumex, encontrarán más aventuras de las que podrían manejar. En el camino, se encuentrarán con personas extrañas y peligros inesperados en la frontera entre Estados Unidos y México que ponen a prueba su valentía. ¿Podrán Charlie y Lupe regresar sanos y salvos a casa?
Children’s and young adult literature has become an essential medium for identity formation in contemporary Latino/a culture in the United States. This book is an original collection of more than thirty interviews led by Frederick Luis Aldama with Latino/a authors working in the genre. The conversations revolve around the conveyance of young Latino/a experience, and what that means for the authors as they overcome societal obstacles and aesthetic complexity. The authors also speak extensively about their experiences within the publishing industry and with their audiences. As such, Aldama’s collection presents an open forum to contemporary Latino/a writers working in a vital literary category and sheds new light on the myriad formats, distinctive nature, and cultural impact it offers.
Today’s Latinx motion pictures are built on the struggles—and victories—of prior decades. Earlier filmmakers threw open doors and cleared new paths for those of the twenty-first century to willfully reconstruct Latinx epics as well as the daily tragedies and triumphs of Latinx lives.
Twenty-first-century Latinx film offers much to celebrate, but as noted pop culture critic Frederick Luis Aldama writes, there’s still room to be purposefully critical. In Latinx Ciné in the Twenty-First Century contributors offer groundbreaking scholarship that does both, bringing together a comprehensive presentation of contemporary film and filmmakers from all corners of Latinx culture.
The book’s seven sections cover production techniques and evolving genres, profile those behind and in front of the camera, and explore the distribution and consumption of contemporary Latinx films. Chapters delve into issues that are timely, relevant, and influential, including representation or the lack thereof, identity and stereotypes, hybridity, immigration and detention, historical recuperation, and historical amnesia.
With its capacious range and depth of vision, this timeless volume of cutting-edge scholarship blazes new paths in understanding the full complexities of twenty-first century Latinx filmmaking.
Iván Eusebio Aguirre Darancou
Frederick Luis Aldama
Juan J. Alonzo
Debra A. Castillo
Desirée J. Garcia
Matthew David Goodwin
Sara Veronica Hinojos
Carlos Gabriel Kelly
Jennifer M. Lozano
Manuel M. Martín-Rodríguez
J. V. Miranda
Valentina Montero Román
Danielle Alexis Orozco
John D. “Rio” Riofrio
Richard T. Rodríguez
Samuale Saldívar III
Rebecca A. Sheehan
In The Latinx Files, Matthew David Goodwin traces how Latinx science fiction writers are reclaiming the space alien from its xenophobic legacy in the science fiction genre. The book argues that the space alien is a vital Latinx figure preserving Latinx cultures by activating the myriad possible constructions of the space alien to represent race and migration in the popular imagination. The works discussed in this book, including those of H.G. Wells, Gloria Anzaldúa, Junot Diaz, André M. Carrington, and many others, often explicitly reject the derogatory correlation of the space alien and Latinxs, while at other times, they contain space aliens that function as a source of either enlightenment or horror for Latinx communities. Throughout this nuanced analysis, The Latinx Files demonstrates how the character of the space alien has been significant to Latinx communities and has great potential for future writers and artists.
It has been half a century since a few now-canonical Latin American writers introduced magical realism to the world. In that time, new generations of Latinx writers and artists have used that watershed moment as a springboard into new and bold explorations of speculative and fantasy forms. Collectively, they have found exciting new ways to delve into Latinx identities and cultures across genres. Latinx Rising, the first anthology of science fiction and fantasy by Latinxs living in the United States, exuberantly displays the full range of their art.
The new and established voices assembled here (including Kathleen Alcalá, Carmen Maria Machado, Ernest Hogan, and other luminaries) invite us to imagine a Latinx past, present, and future that have not been whitewashed by mainstream perspectives. As in the best mixtapes, this anthology moves satisfyingly through the loud and brash, the quiet and thoughtful. There are ghosts, space aliens, robots—and a grandmother who unwittingly saves the universe through her cooking. The result is a deeply pleasurable read that pushes beyond magical realism and social realism to demonstrate all the thrilling possibilities of what Latinx literature can be.
Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics
Frederick Luis Aldama; Foreword by John Jennings; Afterword by Javier Hernandez University of Arizona Press, 2017 Library of Congress PN6725.A37 2017 | Dewey Decimal 741.5352968073
Winner of the 2018 Eisner Award Winner for Best Scholarly/Academic Work
Whether good or evil, beautiful or ugly, smart or downright silly, able-bodied or differently abled, gay or straight, male or female, young or old, Latinx superheroes in mainstream comic book stories are few and far between. It is as if finding the Latinx presence in the DC and Marvel worlds requires activation of superheroic powers.
Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics blasts open barriers with a swift kick. It explores deeply and systematically the storyworld spaces inhabited by brown superheroes in mainstream comic book storyworlds: print comic books, animation, TV, and film. It makes visible and lets loose the otherwise occluded and shackled. Leaving nothing to chance, it sheds light on how creators (authors, artists, animators, and directors) make storyworlds that feature Latinos/as, distinguishing between those that we can and should evaluate as well done and those we can and should evaluate as not well done.
The foremost expert on Latinx comics, Frederick Luis Aldama guides us through the full archive of all the Latinx superheros in comics since the 1940s. Aldama takes us where the superheroes live—the barrios, the hospitals, the school rooms, the farm fields—and he not only shows us a view to the Latinx content, sometimes deeply embedded, but also provokes critical inquiry into the way storytelling formats distill and reconstruct real Latinos/as.
Thoroughly entertaining but seriously undertaken, Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics allows us to truly see how superhero comic book storyworlds are willfully created in ways that make new our perception, thoughts, and feelings.
Latinx TV in the Twenty-First Century offers an expansive and critical look at contemporary television by and about U.S. Latinx communities. This volume is comprehensive in its coverage while diving into detailed and specific examples as it navigates the complex and ever-changing world of Latinx representation and creation in television.
In this volume, editor Frederick Luis Aldama brings together leading experts who show how Latinx TV is shaped by historical, social, cultural, regional, and global contexts. Contributors address head on harmful stereotypes in Latinx representation while giving key insights to a positive path forward. TV narratives by and about Latinx people exist across all genres. In this century, we see Latinx people in sitcoms, sci-fi, noir, soap operas, rom-coms, food shows, dramas, action-adventure, and more. Latinx people appear in television across all formats, from quick webisodes, to serialized big-arc narratives, to animation and everything in between. The diverse array of contributors to this volume delve into this rich landscape of Latinx TV from 2000 to today, spanning the ever-widening range of genres and platforms.
Latinx TV in the Twenty-First Century argues that Latinx TV is not just television—it’s an entire movement. Digital spaces and streaming platforms today have allowed for Latinx representation on TV that speaks to Latinx people and non-Latinx people alike, bringing rich and varied Latinx cultures into mainstream television and addressing urbanization, immigration, family life, language, politics, gender, sexuality, class, race, and ethnicity.
Once heavily underrepresented and harmfully stereotypical, Latinx representation on TV is beginning to give careful nuance to regional, communal, and familial experiences among U.S. Latinx people. This volume unpacks the negative implications of older representation and celebrates the progress of new representation, recognizing that television has come a long way, but there is still a lot of important work to do for truly diverse and inclusive representation.
Xbox videogamer cholo cyberpunks. Infants who read before they talk. Vatos locos, romancing abuelos, border crossers and border smugglers, drug kingpins, Latina motorbike riders, philosophically musing tweens, and so much more.
The stories in this dynamic bilingual prose-art collection touch on the universals of romance, family, migration and expulsion, and everyday life in all its zany configurations. Each glimpse into lives at every stage—from newborns and children to teens, young adults, and the elderly—further submerges readers in psychological ups and downs. In a world filled with racism, police brutality, poverty, and tensions between haves and have-nots, these flashes of fictional insight bring gleaming clarity to life lived where all sorts of borders meet and shift.
Frederick Luis Aldama and graphic artists from Mapache Studios give shape to ugly truths in the most honest way, creating new perceptions, thoughts, and feelings about life in the borderlands of the Américas. Each bilingual prose-art fictional snapshot offers an unsentimentally complex glimpse into what it means to exist at the margins of society today. These unflinching and often brutal fictions crisscross spiritual, emotional, and physical borders as they give voice to all those whom society chooses not to see.
Mex-Ciné offers an accessibly written, multidisciplinary investigation of contemporary Mexican cinema that combines industrial, technical, and sociopolitical analysis with analyses of modes of reception through cognitive theory. Mex-Ciné aims to make visible the twenty-first century Mexican film industry, its blueprints, and the cognitive and emotive faculties involved in making and consuming its corpus. A sustained, free-flowing book-length meditation, Mex-Ciné enriches our understanding of the way contemporary Mexican directors use specific technical devices, structures, and characterizations in making films in ways that guide the perceptual, emotive, and cognitive faculties of their ideal audiences, while providing the historical contexts in which these films are made and consumed.
Multicultural Comics: From Zap to Blue Beetle is the first comprehensive look at comic books by and about race and ethnicity. The thirteen essays tease out for the general reader the nuances of how such multicultural comics skillfully combine visual and verbal elements to tell richly compelling stories that gravitate around issues of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality within and outside the U.S. comic book industry. Among the explorations of mainstream and independent comic books are discussions of the work of Adrian Tomine, Grant Morrison, and Jessica Abel as well as Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan's The Tomb of Dracula; Native American Anishinaabe-related comics; mixed-media forms such as Kerry James Marshall's comic-book/community performance; DJ Spooky's visual remix of classic film; the role of comics in India; and race in the early Underground Comix movement. The collection includes a "one-stop shop" for multicultural comic book resources, such as archives, websites, and scholarly books. Each of the essays shows in a systematic, clear, and precise way how multicultural comic books work in and of themselves and also how they are interconnected with a worldwide tradition of comic-book storytelling.
Although investigations of Hispanic popular culture were approached for decades as part of folklore studies, in recent years scholarly explorations—of lucha libre, telenovelas, comic strips, comedy, baseball, the novela rosa and the detective novel, sci-fi, even advertising—have multiplied. What has been lacking is an overarching canvas that offers context for these studies, focusing on the crucial, framing questions: What is Hispanic pop culture? How does it change over time and from region to region? What is the relationship between highbrow and popular culture in the Hispanic world? Does it make sense to approach the whole Hispanic world as homogenized when understanding Hispanic popular culture? What are the differences between nations, classes, ethnic groups, religious communities, and so on? And what distinguishes Hispanic popular culture in the United States?
In ¡Muy Pop!, Ilan Stavans and Frederick Luis Aldama carry on a sustained, free-flowing, book-length conversation about these questions and more, concentrating on a wide range of pop manifestations and analyzing them at length. In addition to making Hispanic popular culture visible to the first-time reader, ¡Muy Pop! sheds new light on the making and consuming of Hispanic pop culture for academics, specialists, and mainstream critics.
Comics and childhood have had a richly intertwined history for nearly a century. From Richard Outcault’s Yellow Kid, Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo, and Harold Gray’s Little Orphan Annie to Hergé’s Tintin (Belgium), José Escobar’s Zipi and Zape (Spain), and Wilhelm Busch’s Max and Moritz (Germany), iconic child characters have given both kids and adults not only hours of entertainment but also an important vehicle for exploring children’s lives and the sometimes challenging realities that surround them.
Bringing together comic studies and childhood studies, this pioneering collection of essays provides the first wide-ranging account of how children and childhood, as well as the larger cultural forces behind their representations, have been depicted in comics from the 1930s to the present. The authors address issues such as how comics reflect a spectrum of cultural values concerning children, sometimes even resisting dominant cultural constructions of childhood; how sensitive social issues, such as racial discrimination or the construction and enforcement of gender roles, can be explored in comics through the use of child characters; and the ways in which comics use children as metaphors for other issues or concerns. Specific topics discussed in the book include diversity and inclusiveness in Little Audrey comics of the 1950s and 1960s, the fetishization of adolescent girls in Japanese manga, the use of children to build national unity in Finnish wartime comics, and how the animal/child hybrids in Sweet Tooth act as a metaphor for commodification.
This collection of essays, by fifteen scholars across diverse fields, explores forty years of writing by Giannina Braschi, one of the most revolutionary Latinx authors of her generation. Since the 1980s, Braschi’s linguistic and structural ingenuities, radical thinking, and poetic hilarity have spanned the genres of theatre, poetry, fiction, essay, musical, manifesto, political philosophy, and spoken word. Her best-known titles are El imperio de los sueños, Yo-Yo Boing!, and United States of Banana. She writes in Spanish, Spanglish, and English and embraces timely and enduring subjects: love, liberty, creativity, environment, economy, censorship, borders, immigration, debt, incarceration, colonialization, terrorism, and revolution. Her work has been widely adapted into theater, photography, film, lithography, painting, sculpture, comics, and music. The essays in this volume explore the marvelous ways that Braschi’s texts shake upside down our ideas of ourselves and enrich our understanding of how powerful narratives can wake us to our higher expectations.
Magical realism has become almost synonymous with Latin American fiction, but this way of representing the layered and often contradictory reality of the topsy-turvy, late-capitalist, globalizing world finds equally vivid expression in U.S. multiethnic and British postcolonial literature and film. Writers and filmmakers such as Oscar "Zeta" Acosta, Ana Castillo, Julie Dash, Hanif Kureishi, and Salman Rushdie have made brilliant use of magical realism to articulate the trauma of dislocation and the legacies of colonialism that people of color experience in the postcolonial, multiethnic world. This book seeks to redeem and refine the theory of magical realism in U.S. multiethnic and British postcolonial literature and film. Frederick Aldama engages in theoretically sophisticated readings of Ana Castillo’s So Far from God, Oscar "Zeta" Acosta’s Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, Shame, The Satanic Verses, and The Moor’s Last Sigh, Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust, and Stephen Frears and Hanif Kureishi’s Sammy and Rosie Get Laid. Coining the term "magicorealism" to characterize these works, Aldama not only creates a postethnic critical methodology for enlarging the contact zone between the genres of novel, film, and autobiography, but also shatters the interpretive lens that traditionally confuses the transcription of the real world, where truth and falsity apply, with narrative modes governed by other criteria.
Latinx representation in the popular imagination has infuriated and befuddled the Latinx community for decades. These misrepresentations and stereotypes soon became as American as apple pie. But these cardboard cutouts and examples of lazy storytelling could never embody the rich traditions and histories of Latinx peoples. Not seeing real Latinxs on TV and film reels as kids inspired the authors to dive deep into the world of mainstream television and film to uncover examples of representation, good and bad. The result: a riveting ride through televisual and celluloid reels that make up mainstream culture.
As pop culture experts Frederick Luis Aldama and Christopher González show, the way Latinx peoples have appeared and are still represented in mainstream TV and film narratives is as frustrating as it is illuminating. Stereotypes such as drug lords, petty criminals, buffoons, and sexed-up lovers have filled both small and silver screens—and the minds of the public. Aldama and González blaze new paths through Latinx cultural phenomena that disrupt stereotypes, breathing complexity into real Latinx subjectivities and experiences. In this grand sleuthing sweep of Latinx representation in mainstream TV and film that continues to shape the imagination of U.S. society, these two Latinx pop culture authorities call us all to scholarly action.
Since the 1980s, a prolific "second wave" of Chicano/a writers and artists has tremendously expanded the range of genres and subject matter in Chicano/a literature and art. Building on the pioneering work of their predecessors, whose artistic creations were often tied to political activism and the civil rights struggle, today's Chicano/a writers and artists feel free to focus as much on the aesthetic quality of their work as on its social content. They use novels, short stories, poetry, drama, documentary films, and comic books to shape the raw materials of life into art objects that cause us to participate empathetically in an increasingly complex Chicano/a identity and experience.
This book presents far-ranging interviews with twenty-one "second wave" Chicano/a poets, fiction writers, dramatists, documentary filmmakers, and playwrights. Some are mainstream, widely recognized creators, while others work from the margins because of their sexual orientations or their controversial positions. Frederick Luis Aldama draws out the artists and authors on both the aesthetic and the sociopolitical concerns that animate their work. Their conversations delve into such areas as how the artists' or writers' life experiences have molded their work, why they choose to work in certain genres and how they have transformed them, what it means to be Chicano/a in today's pluralistic society, and how Chicano/a identity influences and is influenced by contact with ethnic and racial identities from around the world.
In the Latinx comics community, there is much to celebrate today, with more Latinx comic book artists than ever before. The resplendent visual-verbal storyworlds of these artists reach into and radically transform so many visual and storytelling genres. Tales from la Vida celebrates this space by bringing together more than eighty contributions by extraordinary Latinx creators. Their short visual-verbal narratives spring from autobiographical experience as situated within the language, culture, and history that inform Latinx identity and life. Tales from la Vida showcases the huge variety of styles and worldviews of today’s Latinx comic book and visual creators.
Whether it’s detailing the complexities of growing up—mono- or multilingual, bicultural, straight, queer, or feminist Latinx—or focusing on aspects of pop culture, these graphic vignettes demonstrate the expansive complexity of Latinx identities. Taken individually and together, these creators—including such legendary artists as Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, Roberta Gregory, and Kat Fajardo, to name a few—and their works show the world that when it comes to Latinx comics, there are no limits to matters of content and form. As we travel from one story to the next and experience the unique ways that each creator chooses to craft his or her story, our hearts and minds wake to the complex ways that Latinxs live within and actively transform the world.
Like two friends sitting down in front of the television together, in Talking #browntv, Frederick Luis Aldama and William Anthony Nericcio dialogue about the representations of Latina/os in American television and film from the twentieth century to the present day. One part conversation, one part critique, one part visual cultural studies, and one part rant against the culture industry profiting off warped caricatures of Latina/o subjectivities, Aldama and Nericcio analyze the ways in which Latinx performers have been mediated—with varying degrees of complexity—on the American screen. A comprehensive review of the history of Mexicans, Mexican Americans, Hispanics, Chicana/os, Latina/os, and Latinx performers in television and film, Talking #browntv boldly interrogates one of the largest paradoxes in the history of American television: Why are there so few Latina/os on television, and why, when they do appear, are they so often narcos, maids, strumpets, tarts, flakes, and losers?
From the subversive critiques embedded in well-loved children’s characters like Speedy Gonzalez to the perpetuation of racial stereotypes in modern-era pornography, from Eva Longoria as ethnic mannequin to J-Lo flipping the sexy Latina music video on its head in “I Luh Ya Papi,” and with more than 150 full-color images, Aldama and Nericcio seek to expose the underlying causes as to why Latina/os constitute only 2 percent of mainstream cultural production when they’re the majority minority in the US. In a moment when anti-Mexican and anti-immigrant rhetoric oozes from TV sets and medias platform, Talking #browntv emerges as a bold antidote, an eloquent rejoinder, and a thoughtful meditation on Latina/os on the American screen and in America today.
Toward a Cognitive Theory of Narrative Acts brings together in one volume cutting-edge research that turns to recent findings in cognitive and neurobiological sciences, psychology, linguistics, philosophy, and evolutionary biology, among other disciplines, to explore and understand more deeply various cultural phenomena, including art, music, literature, and film. The essays fulfilling this task for the general reader as well as the specialist are written by renowned authors H. Porter Abbott, Patrick Colm Hogan, Suzanne Keen, Herbert Lindenberger, Lisa Zunshine, Katja Mellman, Lalita Pandit Hogan, Klarina Priborkin, Javier Gutiérrez-Rexach, Ellen Spolsky, and Richard Walsh. Among the works analyzed are plays by Samuel Beckett, novels by Maxine Hong Kingston, music compositions by Igor Stravinsky, art by Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin, and films by Michael Haneke. Each of the essays shows in a systematic, clear, and precise way how music, art, literature, and film work in and of themselves and also how they are interconnected. Finally, while each of the essays is unique in style and methodological approach, together they show the way toward a unified knowledge of artistic creativity.
In Unstable Masks: Whiteness and American Superhero Comics, Sean Guynes and Martin Lund bring together a series of essays that contextualize the histories and stakes of whiteness studies, superhero comics, and superhero studies for academics, fans, and media-makers alike. The volume illustrates how the American comic book superhero is fundamentally a figure of white power and white supremacy and ultimately calls for diversity in superhero comics as well as a democratized media culture.
Contributors not only examine superhero narratives but also delve into the production, distribution, audience, and reception of those narratives, highlighting the imbrication of forces that have helped to create, normalize, question, and sometimes even subvert American beliefs about whiteness and race. Unstable Masks considers the co-constitutive nature of identity, representation, narrative, production and consumption, and historical and cultural contexts in forging the stereotypes that decide who gets to be a superhero and who gets to be American on the four-color pages of comic books.
Why are so many people attracted to narrative fiction? How do authors in this genre reframe experiences, people, and environments anchored to the real world without duplicating "real life"? In which ways does fiction differ from reality? What might fictional narrative and reality have in common—if anything?
By analyzing novels such as Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things, Amitav Ghosh's The Glass Palace, Zadie Smith's White Teeth, and Hari Kunzru's The Impressionist, along with selected Latino comic books and short fiction, this book explores the peculiarities of the production and reception of postcolonial and Latino borderland fiction. Frederick Luis Aldama uses tools from disciplines such as film studies and cognitive science that allow the reader to establish how a fictional narrative is built, how it functions, and how it defines the boundaries of concepts that appear susceptible to limitless interpretations.
Aldama emphasizes how postcolonial and Latino borderland narrative fiction authors and artists use narrative devices to create their aesthetic blueprints in ways that loosely guide their readers' imagination and emotion. In A User's Guide to Postcolonial and Latino Borderland Fiction, he argues that the study of ethnic-identified narrative fiction must acknowledge its active engagement with world narrative fictional genres, storytelling modes, and techniques, as well as the way such fictions work to move their audiences.
Is there life after postmodernism? Many claim that it sounded the death knell for history, art, ideology, science, possibly all of Western philosophy, and certainly for the concept of reality itself. Responding to essential questions regarding whether the humanities can remain politically and academically relevant amid this twenty-first-century uncertainty, Why the Humanities Matter offers a guided tour of the modern condition, calling upon thinkers in a variety of disciplines to affirm essential concepts such as truth, goodness, and beauty.
Offering a lens of "new humanism," Frederick Aldama also provides a liberating examination of the current cultural repercussions of assertions by such revolutionary theorists as Said, Foucault, Lacan, and Derrida, as well as Latin Americanists such as Sommer and Mignolo. Emphasizing pedagogy and popular culture with equal verve, and writing in colloquial yet multifaceted prose, Aldama presents an enlightening way to explore what "culture" actually does—who generates it and how it shapes our identities—and the role of academia in sustaining it.
Though the field of comic book studies has burgeoned in recent years, Latino characters and creators have received little attention. Putting the spotlight on this vibrant segment, Your Brain on Latino Comics illuminates the world of superheroes Firebird, Vibe, and the new Blue Beetle while also examining the effects on readers who are challenged to envision such worlds.
Exploring mainstream companies such as Marvel and DC as well as rising stars from other segments of the industry, Frederick Aldama provides a new reading of race, ethnicity, and the relatively new storytelling medium of comics themselves. Overview chapters cover the evolution of Latino influences in comics, innovations, and representations of women, demonstrating Latino transcendence of many mainstream techniques. The author then probes the rich and complex ways in which such artists affect the cognitive and emotional responses of readers as they imagine past, present, and future worlds.
Twenty-one interviews with Latino comic book and comic strip authors and artists, including Laura Molina, Frank Espinosa, and Rafael Navarro, complete the study, yielding captivating commentary on the current state of the trade, cultural perceptions, and the intentions of creative individuals who shape their readers in powerful ways.
Iván Eusebio Aguirre Darancou
Frederick Luis Aldama
Juan J. Alonzo
Debra A. Castillo
Desirée J. Garcia
Matthew David Goodwin
Sara Veronica Hinojos
Carlos Gabriel Kelly
Jennifer M. Lozano
Manuel M. Martín-Rodríguez
J. V. Miranda
Valentina Montero Román
Danielle Alexis Orozco
John D. “Rio” Riofrio
Richard T. Rodríguez
Samuale Saldívar III
Rebecca A. Sheehan