By Julie Avril Minich
A quantity within the American Literatures Initiative
Read Online or Download Accessible Citizenships. Disability, Nation, and the Cultural Politics of Greater Mexico PDF
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Extra info for Accessible Citizenships. Disability, Nation, and the Cultural Politics of Greater Mexico
2 Nonetheless, this chapter is not exclusively about pain; rather, it is also about the healing, thinking, and growing that Islas describes as its outcome in the opening epigraph. The agony that features so prominently in his novels serves the process of unification and community formation, bringing together Mexico and the United States, Spanish and English, Spaniard and Indian, straight and queer, saint and sinner, soul and body, gut and colostomy bag. In this chapter, drawing from disability theory and from Chicana/o feminist and queer theory, I argue that Islas’s acts of synthesis produce a vision of Chicana/o community that circumvents the exclusions upon which cultural nationalisms are often predicated.
Michael Bérubé makes a similar point when he reminds us that the rights of people with disabilities “were invented, and implemented slowly and with great difficulty” (“Citizenship and Disability” 55). For Bérubé, the claiming of rights by minoritized groups makes possible a new understanding of democracy: as we seek “to extend the promise of democracy to previously excluded individuals and groups,” he writes, we discover that “our understandings of democracy and parity are infinitely revisable” (56).
As faculty advisor during the mid-1970s for Miquiztli, a literary magazine published by Chicana/o students at Stanford University, Islas wrote scathing critiques of prominent Chicano writers. In one, he opines: “Much of what is passed off as literature is a compendium of folklore, religious superstition, and recipes for tortillas” (“Writing from a Dual Perspective” 2). While the language Islas wields here is excessively sharp, these pieces reveal his desire for representations depicting the full diversity of Chicana/o identities and experiences.
Accessible Citizenships. Disability, Nation, and the Cultural Politics of Greater Mexico by Julie Avril Minich