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Diaspora literatures and cultures - literatures and cultures on the border


Institute for Latin American Studies

Research Team:
  • Cooperation with Marisa Belausteguioitia if the PUEG in the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)
Partially funded by the bi-national Graduate College of the DAAD

Literature, art, and popular culture of the Chicana/os, the Nuyoricans as well as other Caribbean and Latin American Diaspora Communities in the USA (and in Canada) create various relations with home-country cultures and communities and establish in this way new forms of representation. At the same time, from the development of trans-cultural area such as the US-American-Mexican border area, various cultural impulses proceed. The strategies of location in these areas cause different accesses to narrative techniques, genres and literary traditions.

The preoccupation with Chicana/o and Latina/o cultures and literatures in the USA enable the analysis of trans-national and trans-cultural processes and allow new ways of considering the Americas and their mutual interaction. In the context of increasingly inter-connected global cultural practices and the experience of living between worlds, these literatures and cultures suggest spaces characterized by the layering of different cultural discourses of US American, Hispanic American and Caribbean origin. In these spaces we also find the marginalization due to ethnicity/race, gender and sexuality. One of the most visible effects of trans-cultural spaces is the hybridizing of genres where, on the one hand, one finds the emergence of intermediate forms between essay collection, poetic anthology and novels, and on the other, an extension of popular culture expressions, including performance art, and film, that contribute to our understanding: we see how the formal and popular genres relate to each other and how, over time, they connect and contribute to each other and change.