Synopses & Reviews
In Chicano/a popular culture, nothing signifies the working class, highly-layered, textured, and metaphoric sensibility known as "rasquache aesthetic" more than black velvet art. The essays in this volume examine that aesthetic by looking at icons, heroes, cultural myths, popular rituals, and border issues as they are expressed in a variety of ways. The contributors dialectically engage methods of popular cultural studies with discourses of gender, sexuality, identity politics, representation, and cultural production. In addition to a hagiography of "locas santas," the book includes studies of the sexual politics of early Chicana activists in the Chicano youth movement, the representation of Latina bodies in popular magazines, the stereotypical renderings of recipe books and calendar art, the ritual performance of Mexican femaleness in the quinceañera, and mediums through which Chicano masculinity is measured.
These eighteen interdisciplinary essays examine the multiplicity of ways in which the ideologies of sex and gender are produced and consumed, approved and accepted, resisted and reinvented in Chicana/o popular culture.
There is no monolithic singular 'barrio', or community, which can contain all of these interventions. Instead, this collection helps us to construct a plurality of 'barrios', a diversity of neighbourhoods in which to be/become/signify Chicano and Chicana bodies of the 21st century.
About the Author
Alicia Gaspar de Alba
is Associate Professor of Chicana/o Studies at UCLA.
Table of Contents
Part I: A Barrio Altar (Icons & Heroes) • A Chicana Hagiography for the 21st Century: Ana Castillos Locas Santas—Rita Alcalá • The “Macho” Body as Social Malinche—Gabriel S. Estrada • In Search of the Authentic Pachuco: An Interpretive Essay—Arturo Madrid • Part II: Mythic Barrios (Cultural Myths) • Deconstructing the Mythical Homeland: México in Contemporary Chicana Performance—Laura Gutiérrez • A Poverty of Relations: On Not “Making Familia from Scratch,” but Scratching Familia—Ralph Rodríguez • “Tanto Tiempo Disfrutamos”: Chicanas and the Sexual Politics of Chicano Youth Culture in Los Angeles in the 1960s—Dionne Espinoza • The Verse of the Godfather: Unwrapping Masculinity, Familia and Nationalism in Chicano Rap Discourse—Richard T. Rodríguez • Part III: Barrio Rites (Popular Rituals) • Revisiting the Chavez Ravine: Baseball, Urban Renewal and the Gendered Civic Culture of Postwar Los Angeles—Erica Avila • “La Quinceañera”: Making Gender and Ethnic Identities—Karen Mary Davalos • Only Cauldrons Know the Secrets of Their Soups: Like Water for Chocolate—Miguel Segovia • Cruising Through Low Rider Culture: Chicana/o Identity in the Marketing of Low Rider Magazine—Denise Michelle Sandoval • Part IV: Border Barrios (“A Tradition of Long Walks”) • Rights of Passage: From Cultural Schizophrenia to Border Consciousness in Cheech Maríns Born in East L.A.—Alicia Gaspar de Alba • Gendered Bodies and Borders in Chicana/o Performance and Literature—Suzanne Chávez-Silverman • Lost in the Cinematic Landscape: Chicanas as Lloronas in Contemporary Film—Domino Renee Pérez • Part V: Velvet Barrios (Este-Reo-Tipos/Stereotypes) • Lupes Song: On the Origins of Mexican/Woman Hating in the United States—Deena J. González • Resisting “Beauty” and Real Women Have Curves—María P. Figueroa • Out of the Fringe: Desire and Homosexuality in the ‘90s Latino Theatre—M. Teresa Marrero • Velvet Malinche: Fantasies of “the” Aztec Princess in the Chicana/o Sexual Imagination—Catrióna Rueda Esquibél