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 resources for Accessible Citizenships. Disability, Nation, and the Cultural Politics of Greater Mexico
The Rain God begins with Miguel Chico in the hospital recovering from his colostomy, thinking “about his family and especially its sinners” (4), and ends with his decision to write an honest history of his family that openly addresses its homophobia, 40 / the body politic of aztlán racism, and misogyny. The novel thus represents the struggle to understand the family in more inclusive terms, privileging its queer, disabled, and female members as well as its indigenous heritage. The nationalist component to this struggle is made explicit in the novel’s title, which evokes the Mexica deity Tlaloc and links contemporary struggles to define the cultural family with indigenous resistance to the Conquest of Mexico.
Renato Rosaldo observes that The Rain God and Migrant Souls reveal “variegated Chicano efforts to survive under white supremacy” (“Race and the Borderlands” 250). However, as the passage from The Rain God describing Miguel Chico in the hospital shows, not all of these “variegated efforts” are equally valorized; Mama Chona’s effort to survive under white supremacy by denying her own racialized embodiment, for instance, has injurious repercussions that continue to harm the family for generations.
Given Islas’s tense relationships with the writers of his day who were most visibly aligned with Chicano nationalism, critics generally do not interpret his work as nationalist or describe Islas as a Chicano Movement writer. For example, Frederick Luis Aldama describes Islas as “never the type to march in the streets” (Dancing with Ghosts 135). Rosaura Sánchez praises his scrutiny of Chicana/o family life but concludes that his work presents “counterdiscourses which although critical of family relations of power do not question the larger economic and political structures of power in which they arise” (Ideological Discourses 125).
Accessible Citizenships. Disability, Nation, and the Cultural Politics of Greater Mexico by Julie Avril Minich