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Gendering the Midwest regional imaginary : Chicana/Latina performance in urban Minnesota

Lopez Lyman, Jessica
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara. Chicana and Chicano studies
Degree Supervisor:
Aida Hurtado
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
Issued Date:
American literature, Ethnic studies, Hispanic American studies, and Performing arts
Dissertations, Academic and Online resources
Ph.D.--University of California, Santa Barbara, 2016

This dissertation examines the relationship between region, performance, and identities. Chican Studies have posited several regional frameworks to address the impact space and place have on Chican subjectivity, such as borderlands theory, Great Mexico, and Texas diaspora. I continue in this tradition to examine the Midwest, specifically Minnesota. The interdisciplinary project utilizes critical ethnography, in-depth qualitative interviews, and textual analysis to examine five Chicana/Latina performers in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The United States' middle country is engendered by a Midwest regional imaginary. This framework posits early settler colonialism relied on pastoralism in the Midwest to physically restructure geographic landscapes and culturally set a tone for reserved, traditional values. The residue of the pastoral myth manifests in continual suppression of racial tensions, homogenization of Midwestern states as all white spaces, and blanketing of rurality as the regional norm despite several urban metropolises.

This study posits Chicana/Latina performers challenge the Midwest regional imaginary by creating discursive and ephemeral spaces to reshape the very region which attempts to suppress their existence. The first chapter sets the theoretical framework for the study tracing historical and discursive tactics specific to the region. The remaining chapters, two, three, and four, challenge the dominant Midwestern framework. The chapters are arranged chronologically, by genre, and ethnic group. Each chapter follows a three-part structure offering first a geo-history, second a biography of the artists, and third analysis of their work. The second chapter discusses themes of mestizaje and indigeneity in the work of Xicana poet Lupe Castillo and Mexicana poet Teresa Ortiz. The third chapter centers Central America and Colombia to discuss themes of physical and cultural violence in the work of Salvadorena spoken word poet Lorena Duarte and U.S. Colombian spoken word poet Tatiana Ormaza. Chapter four investigates Puerto Rican diaspora and hip hop present in Boricua musician Maria Isa Perez. The conclusion offers an ethnographic analysis of Latina Ritual Project, a one-night multi-genre performance event, to posit future possibilities for Chican/Latin s in Minnesota.

Physical Description:
1 online resource (240 pages)
UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
Catalog System Number:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
Copyright Holder:
Jessica Lopez Lyman
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