Critical Storytelling from the Borderlands

En la Línea


From this set of critical stories emerges a timely confession from marginalized imagined communities at the physical and metaphorical Mexican-American border. These hybrid storytellers create a multivalence of experiences and genres. Composers of this ground-breaking collection draw readers into an affective connection with the borderlands, offering critical examinations of legal status, gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, social class, family, and health. Additionally, creative representations across genres explore notions of geography, vulnerability, suffering, trauma, pain as well as joy, healing, and love. By posing questions about loss of innocence, they incite new literary and visual spaces for fusing together fragments of the remains of land, body, and/or being, all the while creating a site of fresh confessions where critical stories are illuminated collages assembled together from within la línea.

Contributors are: Kiri Avelar, Irving Ayala, Carmella J. Braniger, Roxana Fragoso Carrillo, Marisa V. Cervantes, Guadalupe Chavez, Julio Enríquez-Ornelas, Liliana Conlisk Gallegos, Verónica Gaona, Andrea Gómez, Filiberto Mares Hernández, Víctor M. Macías-González, Carol Mariano, Ana Silvia Monzón Monterroso, Juana Moriel-Payne, Rachel Neff, Jumko Ogata-Aguilar, José Olivarez, Isabela Ortega, Paul Pedroza, Jorge Omar Ramírez Pimienta, Raphaella Prange, Felipe Quetzalcoatl Quintanilla, Erica Reyes, Fidel García Reyes, Lizbeth De La Cruz Santana and Santiago Vaquera-Vasquez

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Carmella J. Braniger, Ph.D. (2003), Oklahoma State University, is Professor of English at Millikin University. She has published poems, chapbooks, and critical stories, and edited four volumes of Critical Storytelling since 2017.

Julio Enríquez-Ornelas, Ph.D. (2014), University of California, is an Associate Professor at Millikin University. His work on Latin American and Latinx Studies appears in Prose Studies, Hispania, Journal of the MMLA, Textos Híbridos, Alchemy: Journal of Translation, El BeisMan, and Suburbano.
List of Figures
Notes on Contributors

Carmella J. Braniger and Julio A. Enríquez-Ornelas

PART 1: En La Línea

1 Remember, Roots Still Grow Beneath: Learning from Conscious Transfronteriza/o/x Trauma
Liliana Conlisk Gallegos

2 Field Notes from the Borderlands: Reflections on Reading, Writing, and Travel
Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez

3 The Playas de Tijuana Mural Project: Digital Storytelling, Portraiture and U.S.-Mexico Border Art
Lizbeth De La Cruz Santana

4 Life on the U.S.-Mexico Border, 1970–1980
Víctor M. Macías-González

PART 2: Wild Tongues

5 Criterion Number 3: Unstable Sense of Self; ca. 1993
Paul Pedroza

6 Regresando a Casa
Jumko Ogata

7 “Me, Foreign Woman”
Andrea Gómez

8 Liminality
Rachel Neff

9 Two Poems
Ana Silvia Monzón Monterroso

PART 3: Thin Edge of Barbwire

10 Welcome to Colonia Libertad, 2007–to Date & From Album of Fences
Jorge Omar Ramírez Pimienta

11 Salamandra
Filiberto Mares Hernández

12 “Heart of the Borderland (Corazón Fronterizo)” & “La Rosa de El Paso”
Isabela Ortega

13 “My Friends from Work”
Fidel García Reyes

14 Las casas y nosotros
Verónica Gaona

14 Las casas y nosotros
Verónica Gaona

15 “I Am Enough”
Erica Reyes

PART 4: Shadow Beast

16 That’s Not My Name: A Journey of Reclamation
Marisa V. Cervantes

17 Esta puente/mi espalda: Interseccionalidad entre feminismo y chicanismo
Roxana Fragoso Carrillo

18 Two Poems & A Story
Juana Moriel-Payne

19 Cilantro Taconeo, Manos de Maiz, Texas Masa & Ruido
Kiri Avelar

20 Shadow Series
Carol Mariano

PART 5: Writing as a Sensuous Act

21 “when i say diaspora”
José Olivarez

22 La mujer de papa, arroz y yuca
Lina Paredes Espitia

23 Hecho a Mano, “Made by Hand”
Raphaella Prange

24 La Chip Truck
Felipe Quetzal

25 xxx
Julio Enríquez-Ornelas

Epilog: Coloniality Incarnate: Conversational Assemblage with Liliana Conlisk Gallegos, Omar Pimenta & Julio Enríquez-Ornelas
Carmella Braniger
All interested in the history of the border, Lantinx studies, Ethnic Studies, queer studies, Spanish, Latin American, Borderland studies, feminist studies, American studies, global studies, autoethnography, poetry, writing and rhetoric studies, trauma studies, and critical studies.
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