1st Edition

Cosmopolitan Strangers in US Latinx Literature and Culture Building Bridges, Not Walls

    190 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book presents a study of the figure of the stranger in US Latinx literary and cultural forms, ranging from contemporary novels through essays to film and transborder art activism. The focus on this abject figure is twofold: first, to explore its potential to expose the processes of othering to which Latinxs are subjected; and, second, to foreground its epistemic response to neocolonial structures and beliefs. Thus, this book draws on relevant sociological literature on the stranger to unveil the political and social processes behind the recognition of Latinxs as ‘out of place.’ On the other hand, and most importantly, this volume follows the path of neo-cosmopolitan approaches to bring to the fore processes of interrelatedness, interaction, and conviviality that run counter to criminalizing discourses around Latinxs. Through an engagement with these theoretical tenets, the goal of this book is to showcase the role of the Latinx stranger as a cosmopolitan mediator that transforms walls into bridges.

    Table of Contents

    Contributor Information

    List of Figures

    Introduction: "Latinx Strangers Revisited: From Othering to Effecting Social Change"

    Esther Álvarez López and Andrea Fernández-García

    1. Transforming Empathy into Extratextual Action: The Latina Writer as Stranger and Mediator in García McCall’s All the Stars Denied 
    2. Vanessa de Veritch Woodside (University of Washington, Tacoma)

    3. "Hospitality and Borders in Oscar Cásares Where We Come From"
    4. Ana Manzanas (University of Salamanca)

    5. "Beyond the Wall: Latinx Strangers and Cosmopolitanism in Luis Alberto Urrea’s The House of Broken Angels"
    6. Macarena García-Avello (University of Cantabria)

    7. "Inhabiting Nepantla: The Stranger in Contemporary Chicana Fiction"

    Norma E. Cantú (Trinity University, TX)

    5. "The Cosmopolitanism of Latinx Natality in Jennine Capó Crucet’s Make Your Home Among Strangers and My Time Among the Whites: Notes from an Unfinished Education"

    Michael Grafals (Florida State University)

    6. "Strangers in the City: Cosmopolitan Strangers and Transnational Urbanism in the Literary Imagination of Valeria Luiselli"

    Alejandro Ramírez (Washington State University)

    7. "Hostipitality and Solidarity in Ivannia Villalobos-Vindas' Casa de tierra ajena"

    Ewa Antoszek (Marie Curie-Skłodowska University)

    8. "Humanizing the Wall: Cosmopolitan Artistic Interventions on the US-Mexico Border"

    Mª Jesús Castro Dopacio (University of Oviedo)




    Vanessa de Veritch Woodside is Associate Professor of Spanish Languages and Cultures at the University of Washington Tacoma, where she teaches Spanish and Latin American and Latinx Studies. She is the author of Ripped Apart: Unsettling Narratives of Transnational Migration (2021). She participates in various community-engaged projects with local immigrant and refugee communities and organizations.

    Ana Mª Manzanas Calvo Professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of de Salamanca, Spain. Her publications include Hospitality in American Literature and Culture: Spaces, Bodies, Borders (Routledge 2017), co-authored with J. Benito. With Benito, she is general editor of the Brill Series "Critical Approaches to Ethnic American Literature." 

    Macarena García-Avello teaches at the University of Cantabria in Santander, Spain. Her research focuses on gender and contemporary Latinx literature. She is the author of Nuevos Horizontes en la literatura latina de Estados Unidos: Transnacionalismos, resistencias queer y sus manifestaciones en la web (2018).

    Norma Elia Cantú currently serves as the Murchison Professor of the Humanities at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, where she teaches Latinx and Chicanx Studies.  The author of several novels, including Canícula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera, she has edited or coedited over a dozen anthologies.

    Michael Grafals is Assistant Professor at Florida International University. He is interested in phenomenology, hermeneutics, and diasporic subjectivity in Caribbean and US Latinx literature. He has written on Gloria Anzaldúa in "Creolizing the Chasms of Humanity: Threshold Passages in Wilson Harris and Gloria Anzaldúa's Cross-Cultural Poetics" (2020).

    Alejandro Ramírez-Méndez is Assistant Professor at Washington State University. Currently he is working on urban narratives from Latinx writers that portray migratory flows of people and ideas in the American city. He is the coauthor of "Seeking Literary Justice: La Caja Mágica in Boyle Heights" (2016).

    Ewa Antoszek is an Assistant Professor at the Department of British and American Studies of Maria-Curie Skłodowska University in Lublin, Poland. Her current research examines Latinx authors and artists (re)writing the US-Mexico border. She is the author of Out of the Margins: Identity Formation in Contemporary Chicana Writings (2012).

    María Jesús Castro Dopacio currently teaches at the University of Oviedo. Her research interests focus on border literature, women’s studies, and Chicanx and Latinx art and literature. She is the author of Emperatriz de las Américas: La Virgen de Guadalupe en la literatura chicana (2010), among other publications.  


    Esther Álvarez-López is Associate Professor of American Literature at the University of Oviedo, Spain. She has published on ethnic literatures, gender, and intersectionality. Her latest publications are "Identity, De-colonization and Cosmopolitanism in (Afro)Latina Artists’ Spoken Word Performances" (2021) and "Strangers, Persisters, and Killjoys: Confronting Gender Inequality through Performance Poetry" (Routledge 2022).

    Andrea Fernández-García is Assistant Professor at the University of Oviedo, Spain. She studies the relationship between gender, space and decoloniality in US Latina literature. She is the author of Geographies of Girlhood in US Latina Writing: Decolonizing Spaces and Identities (2020), among other publications.