Tender Struggles: Geography, Affect, And Modes Of Politics In Contemporary U.S. Latina/O Fiction
This dissertation examines the role that feelings play in shaping forms of critique, politics and knowledge with a particular emphasis on geography. In articulating these ideas, I turn to the work of contemporary Latina/o writers whose writing provides critical insights and support for questions about how space, politics and knowledge intersect with emotions: Cristina García, Alex Espinoza, Ernesto Quiñonez, Helena María Viramontes, H.G. Carrillo and Manuel Muñoz. Through their attention to space as well as affect in everyday life, I argue that these writers engage in a tender mode of narrative relation that provides critical insight into the ways in which emotions operate in both the re-production and critical deconstruction of structures of relation. These caring narratives, I assert, model and enact a radical form of struggle with and for vulnerability: that is, an openness to being affected by others. I enhance these arguments about affect, relationality and modes of struggle throughout my dissertation by thinking about these ideas from my experiences with teaching, activism and interdisciplinary scholarship. In an attempt to engage in an openness and attentiveness like the tender struggles it theorizes, this dissertation moves through various discussions that are critical to both academic scholarship and social justice activism: from neoliberal transformations of ethnic urban spaces, to practices of food sovereignty in the ghetto, to the politics of care and gender in social movements, to the potential for cross-cultural coalition organizing through an avowal of vulnerability.
Brady,Mary P.; Aching,Gerard Laurence; Lai,Clement K
Ph.D. of Romance Studies
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis