By Julie Avril Minich
A quantity within the American Literatures Initiative
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Obtainable Citizenships examines Chicana/o cultural representations that conceptualize political neighborhood via photographs of incapacity. operating opposed to the idea that incapacity is a metaphor for social decay or political predicament, Julie Avril Minich analyzes literature, movie, and visible artwork post-1980 within which representations of non-normative our bodies paintings to extend our knowing of what it potential to belong to a political neighborhood.
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Additional info for Accessible Citizenships. Disability, Nation, and the Cultural Politics of Greater Mexico
Both novels are narrated from the perspective of characters who refuse Mama Chona’s strict religious doctrine and ideals of bodily purity, who reject her emphasis on the family’s “Spanish” (not indigenous) lineage, and who defy her upper-middle-class aspirations. In this sense, the novels reflect Moraga’s assertion that “since lesbians and gay men have often been forced out of our blood families, and since our love and sexual desire are not housed within the traditional family, we are in a critical position to address those areas within our cultural family that need to change” (Last Generation 159).
Mexico border as a source of anxiety about national identity in both the United States and Mexico, and therefore as a site of increased public surveillance, state-sanctioned violence, and scholarly analysis; and recent neoliberal challenges to the nation-state as a sovereign entity. The book is organized into three sections that correspond to each of these moments and trace how Chicana/o and Mexican cultural workers have collectively responded to them. As I argue throughout, disability functions not as a metaphor for the failure of nationalism in each of these moments, as dominant readings might suggest, but as a social location from which to imagine forms of political community that might fulfill the nation’s democratic obligation to its citizens.
What I have found more surprising—and therefore of significant theoretical interest—is that their work also contains similar approaches to the representation of disability, approaches that urge us to imagine the kind of accessible political community that McRuer and other disability scholars advocate. The term Greater Mexico was coined by the Chicano public intellectual Américo Paredes, whose ethnographic writings on the border culture of the Lower Rio Grande Valley in the 1950s constitute some of the earliest scholarly writings in what is now the academic discipline of Chicana/o studies.