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9 - Trajectories of ExChange

Toward Histories of Latina/o Literature

from Part II - The Roots and Routes of Latina/o Literature

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 February 2018

John Morán González
University of Texas, Austin
Laura Lomas
Rutgers University, New Jersey
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While Latino literature has inspired notable historical scholarship, critics have pointed to a dearth of Latino literary history, meaning studies that track the relationships, changes and development of literary production over centuries. In turn, literary continuity in anthologies is often posited in relation to a transhistorical notion of Latinidad that papers over the multiplicity of identities and types of texts that circulate in different historical periods. This article calls for literary histories that are attentive to critiques that emerged in recent decades as scholars became skeptical of coherent narratives associated with nation-based forms of literary history. The challenge is to develop new forms of literary history that explain how and why texts from other centuries should be considered part of a trajectory of Latino literature leading to the present. Lazo proposes that approaches should be attentive to changes in print culture, hemispheric historical conditions, and the different types of racial affiliations that emerge for writers and intellectuals. The latter part of the article presents a brief trajectory of literary history that focuses on elite writers whose investment in commercial activity inspired them to produce texts.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2018

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