By Julie Avril Minich
A quantity within the American Literatures Initiative
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Extra resources for Accessible Citizenships. Disability, Nation, and the Cultural Politics of Greater Mexico
Enabling aztlán / 35 Islas and Chicano Nationalism4 In the early 1970s, as Islas was writing the manuscripts that would become The Rain God and Migrant Souls, Chicano nationalism was defined by El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán, a manifesto composed in 1969 at the First National Chicano Liberation Youth Conference. Collectively authored by the poets Alurista and Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales, along with other attendees, El Plan offers a radical vision for Chicana/o liberation, invoking the pre-Columbian Mexica (Aztec) homeland of Aztlán as the basis for Chicana/o claims to cultural and political self-determination: “Before the world, before all of North America, before all our brothers in the bronze continent, we are a nation, we are a union of free pueblos, we are Aztlán” (1).
The back of the head was mushy. The rest of the body was purple, bloated, and caved in at odd places. One of the testicles was missing” (81). enabling aztlán / 47 When it is told by Felix, we learn of the pain and fear that characterize the final moments of his life: “Felix had time to be afraid before he heard his heart stop” (138). All of his fears and evil dreams merged and he had no voice to cry out against them” (152–53). Together, these perspectives reveal the violent impact of Felix’s death, a death made possible by the practice of racism and heteronormativity, on all members of the Angel family, queer and heterosexual.
These include two Chicana novels that look beyond nationalism, attempting to imagine forms of political belonging that go beyond citizenship in a world in which citizenship remains the only guarantee of rights. Davidson describes the current post-NAFTA reality as one “in which the illusion of mobility and expanded communication masks the re-consolidation of wealth and the containment of resistance within a totalized surveillance regime” (“On the Outskirts” 737–38). The texts discussed in this section, which include both pre- and post-NAFTA works, reveal how the situation Davidson describes extends throughout the Americas, including areas not directly included in NAFTA, and came into being before the official beginning of NAFTA.
Accessible Citizenships. Disability, Nation, and the Cultural Politics of Greater Mexico by Julie Avril Minich