The Latino Body tells the story of the United States Latino body politic and its relation to the state: how the state configures Latino subjects and how Latino subjects have in turn altered the state. Lázaro Lima charts the interrelated groups that define themselves as Latinos and examines how these groups have responded to calls for unity and nationally shared conceptions of American cultural identity. He contends that their responses, in times of cultural or political crisis, have given rise to profound cultural transformations, enabling the so-called “Latino subject“ to emerge.
Analyzing a variety of cultural, literary, artistic, and popular texts from the nineteenth century to the present, Lima dissects the ways in which the Latino body has been imagined, dismembered, and reimagined anew, providing one of the first comprehensive accounts of the construction of Latino cultural identity in the United States.
“Lima’s Latino Body promises to productively disrupt the business-as-usual of critical and scholarly practice in the still-emerging field of U.S. Latino studies; it will contribute directly to the next stage in the long process of what it itself terms Latino identity's 'becoming historical' in North American cultural, political, and intellectual contexts. For this reason alone, The Latino Body could not be more welcome, or more timely.”-Ricardo L. Ortiz,Georgetown University
“Through a bricolage of carefully crafted textual readings, Lima has produced a text that traces the relationship between corporeality and citizenship by marking the process by which the Latino body has ‘become historical.’ Situated in moments of national and bodily crisis, his archive is decidedly precise and imaginatively expansive, metaphorically rich and politically dynamic. Drawing on texts central to third world feminism, queer studies, and Latin and Latino American literatures, this work is as central to rethinking the American literary canon as it is to an invigorating remapping of Latino Studies.”-Juana Maria Rodriguez,author of Queer Latinidad
“An engaging, original, readable work. . . . Highly recommended.”
“Reading a wide range of texts, he provides a sophisticated and important critique of the limits of US citizenship for Latinos.”-Melus, Vol.34