Synopses & Reviews
Honoring relatives by tending graves, building altars, and cooking festive meals has been an honored tradition among Latin Americans for centuries. The tribute, "el Dia de los Muertos," has enjoyed renewed popularity since the 1970s when Latino activists and artists in the United States began expanding "Day of the Dead" north of the border with celebrations of performance art, Aztec danza, art exhibits, and other public expressions.
Focusing on the power of ritual to serve as a communication medium, Regina M. Marchi combines a mix of ethnography, historical research, oral history, and critical cultural analysis to explore the manifold and unexpected transformations that occur when the tradition is embraced by the mainstream. A testament to the complex nature of ethnic identity, Day of the Dead in the USA provides insight into the power of ritual to create community, transmit oppositional messages, and advance educational, political, and economic goals.
"Regina Marchi speaks directly to all of those wondering how Mexico's tradition of re-membering the dead within living communities became US America's newest holiday. The book thoughtfully records the voices of significant Chicanas/os whose traditional and non-traditional approaches initiated this transformation." Michael Schudson - author of The Good Citizen: A History of American Public Life
About the Author
Regina M. Marchi is an assistant professor of media studies and an affiliated professor of Latino studies at Rutgers University. A former journalist, Marchi is the author of numerous articles and a contributor to Religion, Media, and the Marketplace (Rutgers University Press).