192 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Latino Culture and History about their New Books
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New Books in Latino Studies New Books Network

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Interviews with Scholars of Latino Culture and History about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/latino-studies

    Felipe Hinojosa, "Apostles of Change: Latino Radical Politics, Church Occupations, and the Fight to Save the Barrio" (U Texas Press, 2021)

    Felipe Hinojosa, "Apostles of Change: Latino Radical Politics, Church Occupations, and the Fight to Save the Barrio" (U Texas Press, 2021)

    In the late 1960s, the American city found itself in steep decline. An urban crisis fueled by federal policy wreaked destruction and displacement on poor and working-class families. The urban drama included religious institutions, themselves undergoing fundamental change, that debated whether to stay in the city or move to the suburbs. Against the backdrop of the Black and Brown Power movements, which challenged economic inequality and white supremacy, young Latino radicals began occupying churches and disrupting services to compel church communities to join their protests against urban renewal, poverty, police brutality, and racism. 
    Apostles of Change: Latino Radical Politics, Church Occupations, and the Fight to Save the Barrio (University of Texas Press, 2021) tells the story of these occupations and establishes their context within the urban crisis; relates the tensions they created; and articulates the activists' bold, new vision for the church and the world. Through case studies from Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and Houston, Felipe Hinojosa reveals how Latino freedom movements frequently crossed boundaries between faith and politics and argues that understanding the history of these radical politics is essential to understanding the dynamic changes in Latino religious groups from the late 1960s to the early 1980s.
    David-James Gonzales (DJ) is Assistant Professor of History at Brigham Young University. He is a historian of migration, urbanization, and social movements in the U.S., and specializes in Latina/o/x politics and social movements.
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    • 1 hr 12 min
    Iván Monalisa Ojeda, "Las Biuty Queens: Stories" (Astra House, 2021)

    Iván Monalisa Ojeda, "Las Biuty Queens: Stories" (Astra House, 2021)

    Drawing from his/her own experience as a trans performer, sex worker, and undocumented immigrant, Iván Monalisa Ojeda chronicles the lives of Latinx queer and trans immigrants in New York City. Whether she is struggling with addiction, clashing with law enforcement, or is being subjected to personal violence, each character choses her own path of defiance, often responding to her fate with with irreverent dark humor. What emerges is the portrait of a group of friends who express unquestioning solidarity and love for each other, and of an unfamiliar, glittering and violent, New York City that will draw readers in and swallow them whole.
    On every page of Las Biuty Queens: Stories (Astra House, 2021), Iván Monalisa's unique narrative talent is on display as he/she artfully transforms the language of the streets, making it his/her own -- rich with rhythm and debauchery. This bold new collection positions Ojeda as a fresh and necessary voice within the canon of world literature.
    Rachel Stuart is a sex work researcher whose primary interest is the lived experiences of sex workers.
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    • 1 hr 2 min
    Johana Londoño, "Abstract Barrios: The Crises of Latinx Visibility in Cities" (Duke UP, 2020)

    Johana Londoño, "Abstract Barrios: The Crises of Latinx Visibility in Cities" (Duke UP, 2020)

    The rapid gentrification of Black and brown neighborhoods in urban areas by predominantly upper-class white and other white-adjacent peoples is largely facilitated by urban redevelopment and revitalization projects. These projects often usher in aesthetics that seek to attract those understood as desirable populations. But what happens when the aesthetics of poor Black and brown neighborhoods themselves become the vehicle for gentrification and urban renewal? As Johana Londoño writes, “the aesthetic depiction and manipulation of Latinx urban life and culture as a way to counteract the fear that Latinxs and their culture were transgressing normative expectations of urbanness” (ix).
    In her new book, Abstract Barrios: The Crises of Latinx Visibility in Cities (Duke University Press, 2020), Dr. Londoño traces how Latinx people are targeted as problems in urban areas that need to be addressed. Simultaneously, architects, urban planners, policymakers, ethnographers, business owners, and settlement workers – all of whom Londoño refers to as “brokers” – were carefully pulling into their projects the visual aesthetics of barrios which would at once produce a Latinized space while simultaneously “not interfere in the economic and cultural interests of normative urbanity” (xvii).
    There was danger in representing barrios because it threatened urban normativity. For Londoño, “Because barrios in US cities are largely the result of unequal forces, reproducing barrio culture and spatial layouts, besides being parodic, would make plain the failures of liberalism to treat all individuals equally” (9-10). Representing barrios in full would reveal the unequal relations of power, state and federal disinvestment in Black and brown neighborhoods, and the economic and material realities of these neighborhoods that go into the formation of barrios. Abstraction but not disruption, however, seems to be have been the goal. By making Latinxs legible in a normative sense, their aesthetics then became implicated in the capitalist spatial order. “I argue that Latinx visibility has been made key to the cyclical nature of U.S. capitalist urbanism: its decay and the reconstitution of its normativity,” writes Londoño (5). The aesthetics found in barrios became abstracted enough to appeal to urban capitalism and thus became implemented onto the gentrifying urban landscape.
    By writing the history of barrios and the marginalization of Latinxs in urban spaces, and by focusing on the brokers who manipulate Latinx urban culture to make it visible in mainstream spaces, Johana Londoño underscores how the built environment as a racial project continues to build on racial hierarchies to maintain structures. She covers instances of manipulation of barrio aesthetics in New York, Miami, San Antonio, Los Angeles, Santa Ana and concludes in her hometown of Union City, New Jersey. Londoño’s skill of highlighting the ways barrio aesthetics play out on the gentrifying landscape of the modern renting market seamlessly brings into focus all at once the racialized and spatial histories of a neighborhood, the decisions by brokers on how to target Latinx consumers, and implications of barrio aesthetics in an increasingly segregated urban landscape. Abstract Barrios is a book that should be read across ethnic studies, urban studies, and in the fields of art and architecture.
    Jonathan Cortez is a Ph.D. candidate of American Studies at Brown University. They are a historian of 20th-century issues of race, labor, (im)migration, surveillance, space, relational Ethnic Studies, and Latinx Studies.
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    • 1 hr 17 min
    Julio Capó Jr., "Welcome to Fairyland: Queer Miami before 1940" (UNC Press, 2017)

    Julio Capó Jr., "Welcome to Fairyland: Queer Miami before 1940" (UNC Press, 2017)

    Welcome to Fairyland: Queer Miami before 1940 (University of North Carolina Press, 2017)highlights how transnational forces—including (im)migration, trade, and tourism—to and from the Caribbean shaped Miami’s queer past. The book has received six awards and honors, including the Charles S. Sydnor Award from the Southern Historical Association for the best book written on Southern history.
    Dr. Julio Capó, Jr. is a transnational historian whose research and teaching interests include modern U.S. history, especially the United States’s relationship to the Caribbean and Latin America. He addresses how gender and sexuality have historically intersected with constructions of ethnicity, race, class, nation, age, and ability. He teaches introductory and specialized courses on all these subjects, as well as courses on public history.
    Leo Valdes is a graduate student in the History Department at Rutgers University. In addition to being a host for the LGBTQ Studies channel on the New Books Network, they are an oral historian with the Latino New Jersey Oral History Project at Rutgers University and Voces of the Pandemic, a collaborative oral history project with Voces Oral History Center at UT Austin. Their dissertation explores how criminalization and race shaped trans cultures and politics in the 20th century.
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    • 53 min
    Roberto Lovato, "Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas" (Harper, 2020)

    Roberto Lovato, "Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas" (Harper, 2020)

    The child of Salvadoran immigrants, Roberto Lovato grew up in 1970s and 80s San Francisco as MS-13 and other notorious Salvadoran gangs were forming in California. In his teens, he lost friends to the escalating violence, and survived acts of brutality himself. He eventually traded the violence of the streets for human rights advocacy in wartime El Salvador where he joined the guerilla movement against the U.S.-backed, fascist military government responsible for some of the most barbaric massacres and crimes against humanity in recent history.
    Roberto returned from war-torn El Salvador to find the United States on the verge of unprecedented crises of its own. There, he channeled his own pain into activism and journalism, focusing his attention on how trauma affects individual lives and societies, and began the difficult journey of confronting the roots of his own trauma. As a child, Roberto endured a tumultuous relationship with his father Ramón. Raised in extreme poverty in the countryside of El Salvador during one of the most violent periods of its history, Ramón learned to survive by straddling intersecting underworlds of family secrets, traumatic silences, and dealing in black-market goods and guns. The repression of the violence in his life took its toll, however. Ramón was plagued with silences and fits of anger that had a profound impact on his youngest son, and which Roberto attributes as a source of constant reckoning with the violence and rebellion in his own life.
    In Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas (Harper, 2020), Roberto interweaves his father’s complicated history and his own with first-hand reportage on gang life, state violence, and the heart of the immigration crisis in both El Salvador and the United States. In doing so he makes the political personal, revealing the cyclical ways violence operates in our homes and our societies, as well as the ways hope and tenderness can rise up out of the darkness if we are courageous enough to unforget.
    David-James Gonzales (DJ) is Assistant Professor of History at Brigham Young University. He is a historian of migration, urbanization, and social movements in the U.S., and specializes in Latina/o/x politics and social movements.
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    • 1 hr 10 min
    Linda Heidenreich, "Nepantla Squared: Transgender Mestiz@ Histories in Times of Global Shift" (U Nebraska Press, 2020)

    Linda Heidenreich, "Nepantla Squared: Transgender Mestiz@ Histories in Times of Global Shift" (U Nebraska Press, 2020)

    In the Nahuatl language, nepantla refers to the ancient Mesoamerican “philosophy that views the world through motion-change,” binding past, present and potential futures together in creative tension (p. xvii). In Nepantla Squared: Transgender Mestiz@ Histories in Times of Global Shift (University of Nebraska Press, 2020), Prof. Linda Heidenreich relies on this concept to reflect expansively about identity, subjectivity, and the research process in this volume, mapping potential connections and useful collusions between Chicanx studies and trans studies. In five deeply researched and resonant chapters, they recover the histories of trans mestiz@s, focusing particularly on the lives of Jack Garland in late nineteenth-century California, and Gwen Amber Rose Araujo in late twentieth-century California. In this conversation, Heidenreich and Prof. Mirelsie Velazquez reflect on how the concept of nepantla invites all historians to consider the self and the now as part of the warp and weave of any inquiry into the past. Join us for an impassioned conversation about weaving together rage and hope to imagine a future of possibilities beyond borders.
    Mirelsie Velazquez is an Associate Professor & Rainbolt Family Endowed Presidential Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Oklahoma.
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    • 43 min

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