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Ediert von Reine Dugas Bouton

Presenting the first full-length collection of essays on Eudora Welty’s novel, Delta Wedding (1946), this volume is the fourth book in Rodopi Press’s Dialogue Series. Within these pages, emerging and experienced literary critics engage in an exciting dialogue about Welty’s noted novel, presenting a wide range of scholarship that focuses on feminist concerns, pays tribute to the rhetoric of exclusion and empowerment, examines the role of outsider and boundaries, explores meaning-making, and highlights the novel’s humor and musicality. This volume will no doubt be of interest to Welty aficianados as well as southern studies and feminist scholars and to those who are interested in the craft of writing fiction.

Gateway to the Promised Land

Ethnic Cultures on New York’s Lower East Side


Mario Maffi

For the first time told in its entirety, the social and cultural experience of New York's Lower East Side comes vividly to life in this book as that of a huge and complex laboratory ever swelled and fed by migrant flows and ever animated by a high-voltage tension of daily research and resistance - the fascinating history of the historical immigrant quarter that, in Manhattan, stretches between East 14th Street, East River, the access to the Brooklyn Bridge, and Lafayette Street. Irish and Germans at first, then Chinese and Italians and East European Jews, and finally Puerto Ricans gave birth, in its streets and sweatshops, cafés and tenements, to a lively multi-ethnic and cross-cultural community, which was at the basis of several modern artistic expressions, from literature to cinema, from painting to theatre. The book, based upon a rich wealth of historical materials (settlement reports, autobiographies, novels, newspaper articles) and on first-hand experience, explores the many different aspects of this long history from the late 19th century years to nowadays: the way in which immigrants reacted to the new environment and entered a fruitful dialectics with America, the way in which they reorganized their lives and expectations and struggled to defend a collective identity against all disintegrating factors, the way in which they created and disseminated cultural products, the way in which they functioned as a gigantic magnet attracting several outside artists and intellectuals. The book thus has a long introduction detailing the present situation and mainly depicting the realities within the Chinese and Puerto Rican communities and the fight against gentrification, six chapters on the Lower East Side's past history (its social and cultural geography, the relationship among the several different communities, the labor situation, the literary output, the development of an ethnic theatre, the neighborhood's influences upon turn-of-the-century American culture in the fields of sociology, photography, art, literature and cinema), and a conclusion summing up past and present and discussing the main aspects of a Lower East Side aesthetics.

Roads of Her Own

Gendered Space and Mobility in American Women’s Road Narratives, 1970-2000


Alexandra Ganser

Reading Jack Kerouac’s classic On the Road through Virginia Woolf’s canonical A Room of One’s Own, the author of this book examines a genre in North American literature which, despite its popularity, has received little attention in literary and cultural criticism: women’s road narratives. The study shows how women’s literature has inscribed itself into the American discourse of the Whitmanesque “open road”, or, more generally, the “freedom of the road”. Women writers have participated in this powerful American myth, yet at the same time also have rejected that myth as fundamentally based on gendered and racial/ethnic hierarchies and power structures, and modified it in the process of writing back to it. The book analyzes stories about female runaways, outlaws, questers, adventurers, kidnappees, biker chicks, travelling saleswomen, and picaras and makes theoretical observations on the debates regarding discourses of spatiality and mobility—debates which have defined the so-called spatial turn in the humanities.
The analytical concept of transdifference is introduced to theorize the dissonant plurality of social and cultural affiliations as well as the narrative tensions produced by such pluralities in order to better understand the textual worlds of women’s multiple belongings as they are present in these writings. Roads of Her Own is thus not only situated in the broader context of a constructivist cultural studies, but also, by discussing narrative mobility under the sign of gender, combines insights from social theory and philosophy, feminist cultural geography, and literary studies.
Key names and concepts: Doreen Massey – Rosi Braidotti – Literary Studies – Spatial Turn – Gendered Space and Mobility – Nomadism – Road writing – Transdifference – American Culture – Popular Culture – Women’s Literature after the Second Wave – Quest – Picara.

Cultural Tourism in Latin America

The Politics of Space and Imagery


Michiel Baud und Annelou Ypeij

Cultural tourism has become an important source of revenue for Latin American countries, especially in the Andes and Meso-America. Tourists go there looking for authentic cultures and artefacts and interact directly with indigenous people. Cultural tourism therefore takes place in close engagement with local societies. This book analyse the effects of cultural tourism and the processes of change it provokes in local societies. It analyses the intricacies of informal markets, the consequences of enforcing tourist policies, the varied encounters of foreign tourists with local populations, and the images and identities that result from the development of tourism. The contributors convincingly show that the tourist experience and the reactions to tourist activities can only be understood if analysed from within local contexts.

Contributors: Michiel Baud, Annelou Ypeij, Lisa Breglia, Quetzil E. Castañeda, Ben Feinberg, Carla Guerrón Montero, Walter E. Little, Keely B. Maxwell, Lynn A. Meisch, Zoila S. Mendoza, Alan Middleton, Beatrice Simon, Griet Steel, Gabriela Vargas-Cetina.

“Tourism in Latin America – especially the sort of cultural tourism that plays to desires for authentic experiences – has become a key foreigner currency earner for many countries. This important volume examines the impact of tourism across the region, providing a rich survey of the range of experiences and teasing out the theoretical implications. From the almost surreal Mi Pueblito theme park in Panama to mushroom-hunting tourists in Oaxaca to the eco-trail leading to Machu Pichu, these chapters present compelling cases that speak to identity formation, nationalism, and economic impacts. As the contributors show, benefits are differentially accrued to various actors – and often not to the communities that tourists come to see. Yet, the contributors also make it clear that in struggles over ownership, authenticity, and political representation, local communities actively shape the contours and meanings of tourism, at times successfully leveraging cultural capital into economic gains.”
Edward F. Fischer,
Director Center for Latin American Studies, Vanderbilt University


Paula Torreiro Pazo

This essay deals with the multilayered trope of food in two autobiographical works published in 2005, Diana Abu-Jaber’s The Language of Baklava and Leslie Li’s Daughter of Heaven. Both works are considered “food memoirs” and, as the very term indicates, culinary rituals, commensality, recipes, and other food-related matters constitute the backbone of the narration. Abu-Jaber and Li use food as a vehicle for the exploration of memories of past events, as well as for the analysis of issues such as ethnicity, racism, identity and community. The fact that both works feature first and second generation members of ethnic groups in the United States—Arab Americans in the case of Abu-Jaber, and Chinese Americans in the case of Li— invites the “trans-ethnic” study of the two memoirs, which, surprisingly enough, present many stylistic and thematic similarities.


Rachel Ihara und Jaime Cleland

This chapter argues that comparative analyses of autobiographical works by ethnic writers typically fail to consider the extent to which minority autobiographies emphasize issues of authorship and artistry. Examination of the autobiographical writing of two early-twentieth-century writers—the Native American writer ZitkalaŠa and the Chinese American writer Sui Sin Far—suggests that both writers sought to present themselves in their autobiographical texts as legitimate American authors, and not only as complex ethnic subjects. Although their autobiographic essays do not conform to typical narratives of the acquisition of literacy, both writers emphasize early experiences of storytelling and childhood encounters with art in order to construct unique yet fully intelligible identities as ethnic American authors. Their shared preoccupation with issues of artistry thus points to a promising area for further investigation into inter-ethnic American life writing.


José Liste Noya

The doublings of memory and writing are shared themes and motifs in the autobiographical writings of two New Yorkers, Samuel R. Delany and Paul Auster, two writers whose writings are otherwise very distinct in style, reach and critical reception. The marginalized writer of consciously marginal “paraliterature,” as Delany calls his science-fiction and other genre experiments, contrasts with the increasingly acclaimed critical and popular favourite, Paul Auster. These distinctions, however, are precisely what allow their shared concerns in their memoirs to stand out, revealing two highly self-conscious writers who employ the autobiographical in ways that question the very discursive and genre conventions that enable the generic stereotyping their writings contest, implicitly or explicitly. In a context we could label as postmodern, their autobiographical writings constitute discursive doublings that explore the formal and thematic constraints of this particular textual mode, one that resists determinate generic classification. They both exploit the the dual temporal and thematic articulation that autobiography relies on—the oscillation between past and present, life and writing—in order to respect more fully the very notion of the autobiographical as experience in writing and writing as experience. The writing of memory and the memory which is writing here double each other in ways that are not always symmetrical and that foreground the skewed relationship that exists between the two. Seeking to authorize their own writing, to father their own discourse, they both resolve that impossibility, in a mode that can never catch up to its presumed objective, the coincidence of life and writing, by recognizing the role of the reader as metaphorically, the ‘son’ who fathers the ‘father’. The experience of autobiography ultimately exists for the reader, an experience of reading that calls upon its own memory, thus doubling in turn the double narrative which is autobiography itself.


Victor Figueroa Sepulveda

This book confronts critical problems being experienced by Latin America in its quest for development. Special attention is paid to the living conditions of the popular sectors over the last half-century under “industrial colonialism.” The author’s framework of analysis weaves together key structural variables including the neoliberal mode of knowledge creation for material production in order to unveil the actual mechanisms of the reproduction of this system. The decisive role of science in the development of the productive forces forms the basis of explicating the “state development function.” The external and internal manifestations of the main underlying contradictions in Latin America are systematically exposed as they unfold from the region’s particular integration into the imperialist system.

Red October

Left-Indigenous Struggles in Modern Bolivia


Jeffery R. Webber

Bolivia witnessed a left-indigenous insurrectionary cycle between 2000 and 2005 that overthrew two neoliberal presidents and laid the foundation for Evo Morales’ successful bid to become the country’s first indigenous head of state in 2006. Building on the theoretical traditions of revolutionary Marxism and indigenous liberation, this book provides an analytical framework for understanding the fine-grained sociological and political nuances of twenty-first century Bolivian class-struggle, state-repression, and indigenous resistance, as well the deeply historical roots of today’s oppositional traditions. Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, including more than 80 in-depth interviews with social-movement and trade-union activists, Red October is a ground-breaking intervention in the study of contemporary Bolivia and the wider Latin American turn to the left over the last decade.


Christa Wirth

Memories of Belonging is a three-generation oral-history study of the offspring of southern Italians who migrated to Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1913.
Supplemented with the interviewees’ private documents and working from U.S. and Italian archives, Christa Wirth documents a century of transatlantic migration, assimilation, and later-generation self-identification. Her research reveals how memories of migration, everyday life, and ethnicity are passed down through the generations, altered, and contested while constituting family identities.

The fact that not all descendants of Italian migrants moved into the U.S. middle class, combined with their continued use of hyphenated identities, points to a history of lived ethnicity and societal exclusion. Moreover, this book demonstrates the extent of forgetting that is required in order to construct an ethnic identity.