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Volume Editors: Jesús Benito and Ana María Manzanas
This volume stems from the idea that the notion of borders and borderlines as clear-cut frontiers separating not only political and geographical areas, but also cultural, linguistic and semiotic spaces, does not fully address the complexity of contemporary cultural encounters. Centering on a whole range of literary works from the United States and the Caribbean, the contributors suggest and discuss different theoretical and methodological grounds to address the literary production taking place across the lines in North American and Caribbean culture. The volume represents a pioneering attempt at proposing the concept of the border as a useful paradigm not only for the study of Chicano literature but also for the other American literatures. The works presented in the volume illustrate various aspects and manifestations of the textual border(lands), and explore the double-voiced discourse of border texts by writers like Harriet E. Wilson, Rudolfo Anaya, Toni Morrison, Cormac McCarthy, Louise Erdrich, Helena Viramontes, Paule Marshall and Monica Sone, among others. This book is of interest for scholars and researchers in the field of comparative American studies and ethnic studies.
In: Literature and Ethnicity in the Cultural Borderlands
In: Literature and Ethnicity in the Cultural Borderlands
This series looks at the different literary traditions of the United States, including African American literature, Native American literature, Chicano and US latino literature, Asian American literature, as well as emergent literatures such as Indian or Arab American.
Although the series' focus is mostly comparative, multiethnic, and intercultural, it also welcomes feature analyses of single literary traditions.
Issues of race, ethnicity, class gender, and the interspace between the political and the aesthetic, among other possible topics, figure prominently in the series.

Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals and/or full manuscripts to the publisher at BRILL, Masja Horn.

Abstract

In an interview published by Forbes on December 26, 2016, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and head of Trump’s presidential campaign data management, explained how he used sophisticated computer tools to identify voter blocks by looking at what TV shows they were following. He mentioned specifically that his research had shown, for instance, that The Walking Dead TV series was popular among people worried about immigration, which consequently made them preferred targets for Trump’s frequent anti-immigration rants.

Regardless of whether or not this information had a real impact on the 2016 presidential campaign, what this anecdote revealed is actually a new insight into the interpretation of the figure of the zombie, which has until now been associated mostly with the rebellion of mindless masses. Seen in this new light, the post-apocalyptic America in which The Walking Dead is set is a country under siege by hordes of immigrants whose main and only purpose would be to feed on American flesh. Significantly, the immigrants that in most cases entered the country as guest workers—itself an oxymoron, since a guest that is made to work ceases to be a guest—now slip into the position of parasites. Immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers are often envisioned as guests of the host nation-state. The inadequacy of the immigrant as guest metaphor has been explored by Mireille Rosello in Postcolonial Hospitality. Immigrant workers, the critic clarifies, are not to be regarded as guests for they are simply hired (9). Although the concept of the working guest dismantles the image of migration as an uncontrollable tide or invasion at the threshold of the nation-state, the image of the migrant as parasite crystalized in the American imaginary throughout the twentieth century. The discourse of nativism, from Proposition 187 in California to campaign promises in the 2010’s, create the image of the immigrant as parasite sponging off the welfare of the United States. All kinds of social illness, from this perspective, can be attributed to invasive foreign bodies (Inda , 47). J.X Inda, for example, traces how nativist rhetoric transformed the Mexican immigrant in particular into a parasite intruding on the body of the host nation, “drawing nutrients from it, while providing nothing to its survival and even threatening its well-being” (47). The nation-state is thus depicted as a living organism that gracefully and generously allows the entrance of an alien, a zombie, who, in turn, endangers the wellbeing of the host, transformed into an abused and endangered host; or, more precisely, into a hostage. The alien Other, the stranger, the immigrant, Inda states, “are often construed as threats to the integrity of the nation” (, 48).

The few not-yet-transformed inhabitants have to survive in enclosed, walled communities that defend them from the ‘walkers’: Hershel’s farm, the jail, Woodbury, Terminus, Alexandria. As the protagonists migrate from one to the other in their fight for survival, they encounter different groups of humans who either offer hospitality or show aggression: Hershel, Woodbury and the Alexandria community are societies seeking to incorporate and assimilate newcomers; whereas groups like the Terminus community and the ‘Saviors’ either reject or exploit others, zombies, and humans alike.

The aim of this paper is thus to delve into the series’ representation of the diverse, complex attitudes to immigration based on the characters’ readiness to show hospitality to its full consequences, and to establish an association with the US and worldwide immigration policies resulting from these conflicting ways of relating to others.

In: The Poetics and Politics of Hospitality in U.S. Literature and Culture
Uncertain Mirrors realigns magical realism within a changing critical landscape, from Aristotelian mimesis to Adorno’s concept of negative dialectics. In between, the volume traverses a vast theoretical arena, from postmodernism and postcolonialism to Lévinasian philosophy and eco-criticism. The volume opens and closes with dialectical instability, as it recasts the mutability of the term “mimesis” as both a “world-reflecting” and a “world-creating” mechanism. Magical realism, the authors contend, offers another stance of the possible; it also situates the reader at a hybrid aesthetic matrix inextricably linked to postcolonial theory, postmodernism, Bakhtinian theory, and quantum physics. As Uncertain Mirrors explores, magical realist texts partake of modernist exhaustion as much as of postmodernist replenishment, yet they stem from a different “location of culture” and “direction of culture;” they offer complex aesthetic artifacts that, in their recreation of alternative geographic and semiotic spaces, dislocate hegemonic texts and ideologies. Their unrealistic excess effects a breach in the totalized unity represented by 19th century realism, and plays the dissonant chord of the particular and the non-identical.
In: Uncertain Mirrors
In: Uncertain Mirrors
In: Uncertain Mirrors
In: Uncertain Mirrors