Re-Imagining Narratives of Gender, Labor, and Immigration
218 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, 5 b&w photos, 1 table
Sales Date: November 15, 2014
The issue of immigration is one of the most hotly debated topics in the national arena, with everyone from right-wing pundits like Sarah Palin to alternative rockers like Zack de la Rocha offering their opinion. The traditional immigrant narrative that gained popularity in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries continues to be used today in describing the process of the “Americanization” of immigrants. Yet rather than acting as an accurate representation of immigrant experiences, this common narrative of the “American Dream” attempts to ideologically contain those experiences within a story line that promotes the idea of achieving success through hard work and perseverance.
In Domestic Disturbances, Irene Mata dispels the myth of the “shining city on the hill” and reveals the central truth of hidden exploitation that underlies the great majority of Chicana/Latina immigrant stories. Influenced by the works of Latina cultural producers and the growing interdisciplinary field of scholarship on gender, immigration, and labor, Domestic Disturbances suggests a new framework for looking at these immigrant and migrant stories, not as a continuation of a literary tradition, but instead as a specific Latina genealogy of immigrant narratives that more closely engage with the contemporary conditions of immigration. Through examination of multiple genres including film, theatre, and art, as well as current civil rights movements such as the mobilization around the DREAM Act, Mata illustrates the prevalence of the immigrant narrative in popular culture and the oppositional possibilities of alternative stories.
"Mata’s readings of immigration and migrant subjectivities contribute to expand the knowledge production of the genre."~Alicia Arrizón, Professor of Women’s Studies, University of California, Riverside, and author of Latina Performance and Queering Mestizaje: Transculturation and Performance
"An excellent resource for graduate classes in women’s studies, literature, American studies, and ethnic studies."~Catriona Rueda Esquibel, Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University, and author of With Her Machete in Her Hand: Reading Chicana Lesbians
"While Latina/o studies scholars will welcome the opportunity to learn about the important work being down by Latina "genealogists" (Mata's term), the book also has the potential to be a valuable pedagogical tool...Mata is an engaged and engaging writer. Her writing is perceptive, sophisticated, and rigorous."~MELUS: The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States
Chapter One. Dream a Little American Dream: A Traditional Story-Book Romance
Chapter Two. Cleaning Up After the National Family, and What a Mess They Make
Chapter Three. Laboring Bodies, Laboring Spaces in theHospitality Industry
Chapter Four. Calling All Superheroes: Recasting the Immigrant Subject
Conclusion. Resistance: A Growing Movement