Buenas Noches, American Culture

Buenas Noches, American Culture

Latina/o Aesthetics of Night
María DeGuzmán
Distribution: World
Publication date: 07/09/2012
Format: Hardback 3 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-00179-5
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Often treated like night itself—both visible and invisible, feared and romanticized—Latina/os make up the largest minority group in the US. In her newest work, María DeGuzmán explores representations of night in art and literature from the Caribbean, Colombia, Central and South America, and the US, calling into question night’s effect on the formation of identity for Latina/os in and outside of the US. She takes as her subject novels, short stories, poetry, essays, non-fiction, photo-fictions, photography, and film, and examines these texts through the lenses of nationhood, sexuality, human rights, exoticism, among others.

Author Bio

María DeGuzmán is Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director of Latina/o Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is author of Spain’s Long Shadow: The Black Legend, Off-Whiteness, and Anglo American Empire.


“In this study, DeGuzmán has been able to accomplish what no study to date has been able to do: to investigate how "night"—in all its figurations—has constituted an aesthetics of both self-representation for Latinos as well as a viable and effective form of resistance to state-sanctioned inclusion. Its diversity of texts and clearly reasoned analysis make it a potential standard text for the field.”
 — Lázaro Lima, author of The Latino Body: Crisis Identities in American Literary and Cultural Memory

“This wonderfully complex and comparative analysis of the aesthetics of night in Latino literature breaks new ground. . . . it offers a compelling argument about the transvaluation of night in Latino literature that is completely new, original and insightful, deepening scholarship on the critical role of Latino literature in the U.S. body politic.”
 — Theresa Delgadillo, author of Spiritual Mestizaje: Religion, Gender, Race and Nation in Contemporary Chicana Narrative

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Critically Inhabiting the Night
1. Dreaded Non-Identitites of Night: Night and Shadow in Chicana/o Cultural Production
2. Queer "Tropics" of Night and the Caribe of "American" (Post) Modernism
3. Postcolonial Pre-Coloumbian Cosmologies of Night in Contemporary U.S.-Based Central American Texts
4. Transcultural Night Work of U.S.-Based South American Cultural Producers
Conclusion: Two Homelands Have I: "America" and the Night