Dialectical Imaginaries

Materialist Approaches to U.S. Latino/a Literature in the Age of Neoliberalism
Marcial González and Carlos Gallego, editors
Gathers materialist readings that provide productive new insights on Latino/a literature in the neoliberal era


Dialectical Imaginaries brings together essays that analyze the effects of class conflict and capitalist ideology on contemporary works of U.S. Latino/a literature. The editors argue that recent global events have compelled contemporary scholars to reexamine traditional interpretive models that center on identity politics and an ethics of multiculturalism. The volume seeks to demonstrate that materialist methodologies have a greater critical reach than other methods, and that Latino/a literary criticism should be more attuned to interpretive approaches that draw on Marxism and other globalizing social theories. The contributors analyze a wide range of literary works in fiction, poetry, drama, and memoir by writers including Rudolfo Anaya, Gloria Anzaldúa, Daniel Borzutzky, Angie Cruz, Sergio de la Pava, Mónica de la Torre, Sergio Elizondo, Juan Felipe Herrera, Rolando Hinojosa, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Óscar Martínez, Cherríe Moraga, Urayoán Noel, Emma Pérez, Pedro Pietri, Miguel Piñero, Ernesto Quiñónez, Ronald Ruiz, Hector Tobar, Rodrigo Toscano, Alfredo Véa, Helena María Viramontes, and others.

 “Compelling and provocative, this is an impressive and timely collection of essays. Although Marxist approaches have always had an important presence in Latino/a literary studies, this is the first collection that foregrounds such approaches to contemporary texts. The essays range over issues as diverse as mass incarceration, the privatization of public resources, residential segregation, waning state sovereignty, Chicana feminism, and new forms of class conflict. Dialectical Imaginaries will be an invaluable resource for scholars in the field, as well as scholars of other ethnic literatures and American literature more broadly.”
—John Alba Cutler, Northwestern University

 “A sophisticated and stimulating book, one that is sure to have a significant impact on literary and cultural studies. . . . The essays dissolve stale debates about race/ethnicity versus class by demonstrating the intrinsic working-class-ness of much Latino/a writing, as well as the value of Marxist class analysis in relation to this body of texts.”
—Barbara Foley, Rutgers University-Newark

Marcial González is Associate Professor of English, University of California, Berkeley. Carlos Gallego is Associate Professor of English, St. Olaf College.

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  • 364 pages.
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  • 2018
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  • 978-0-472-12411-4

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