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Disrupting Savagism: Intersecting Chicana/o, Mexican Immigrant, and Native American Struggles for Self-Representation (Latin America Otherwise)

Arturo J. Aldama

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ISBN 10: 0822327511 / ISBN 13: 9780822327516
Published by Duke University Press Books, 2001
Condition: Good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Disrupting Savagism: Intersecting Chicana/o,...

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Good

Edition: 1st edition,.

About this title


Colonial discourse in the United States has tended to criminalize, pathologize, and depict as savage not only Native Americans but Mexican immigrants, indigenous peoples in Mexico, and Chicanas/os as well. While postcolonial studies of the past few decades have focused on how these ethnicities have been constructed by others, Disrupting Savagism reveals how each group, in turn, has actively attempted to create for itself a social and textual space in which certain negative prevailing discourses are neutralized and rendered ineffective.
Arturo J. Aldama begins by presenting a genealogy of the term “savage,” looking in particular at the work of American ethnologist Lewis Henry Morgan and a sixteenth-century debate between Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda and Bartolomé de las Casas. Aldama then turns to more contemporary narratives, examining ethnography, fiction, autobiography, and film to illuminate the historical ideologies and ethnic perspectives that contributed to identity formation over the centuries. These works include anthropologist Manuel Gamio’s The Mexican Immigrant: His Life Story, Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony, Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera, and Miguel Arteta’s film Star Maps. By using these varied genres to investigate the complex politics of racialized, subaltern, feminist, and diasporic identities, Aldama reveals the unique epistemic logic of hybrid and mestiza/o cultural productions.
The transcultural perspective of Disrupting Savagism will interest scholars of feminist postcolonial processes in the United States, as well as students of Latin American, Native American, and literary studies.

From the Publisher:

“Disrupting Savagism offers a theoretically nuanced reading of the struggles over representation that have been waged by marginalized inhabitants of the United States-Mexican border zone. With its remarkable breadth of examples, the book carefully unfolds the thoroughgoing legacy of racial violence in the colonized Southwest.”—Carl Gutiérrez-Jones, author of Rethinking the Borderlands: Between Chicano Culture and Legal Discourse

“The ‘savage’ speaks, gains voice, and articulates resistance to the forces of oppression in Aldama’s Disrupting Savagism. It is relentless in its rigor and perspicacious in its investigation as it dismantles the social discourses that ascribe Native Americans and mixed bloods ‘savage.’ Aldama’s efforts allow the Mestizo and Native American to take hold of the apparatus of representation and affirm self-identity. Disrupting Savagism is an important work, long needed to fill the gap in our collective understanding, a work that will have broad and long-lasting impact. I can think of no other work that addresses this material so capably and so thoroughly. An intelligent and powerful work.”—Alfred Arteaga, author of Chicano Poetics: Heterotexts and Hybridities

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