Cities, Borders and Spaces in Intercultural American Literature and Film

By Ana M. Manzanas, Jesús Benito Sanchez

© 2011 – Routledge

164 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9781138849662
pub: 2014-11-10
US Dollars$48.95
Hardback: 9780415887212
pub: 2011-05-18
US Dollars$149.00

About the Book

This book examines the spatial morphologies represented in a wide range of contemporary ethnic American literary and cinematic works. Drawing from Henri Lefebvre’s theorization of space as a living organism, Edward Soja’s writings on the postmetropolis, Marc Augé’s notion of the non-place, Manuel Castells’ space of flows, and Michel de Certeau’s theories of walking as a practice, the volume extends previous theorizations by examining how spatial uses, appropriations, strictures, ruptures, and reconfigurations function in literary texts and films that represent inhabitants of racial-ethnic borderlands and migrational U.S. cities. The authors argue for the necessity of an alternative poetics of place that makes room for those who move beyond the spaces of traditional visibility—displaced and homeless people, undocumented workers, hybrid and/or marginalized populations rendered invisible by the cultural elite, yet often disciplined by agents of surveillance. Building upon Doreen Massey’s conceptualization of liminal space as a sphere in which narratives intersect, clash, or cooperate, this study recasts spatial paradigms to insert an array of emergent geographies of invisibility that the volume traverses via the analysis of works by Chuck Palahniuk, Helena Viramontes, Karen Tei Yamashita, Gloria Anzaldúa, Alejandro Morales, and Li-Young Lee, among others, and films such as Thomas McCarthy’s The Visitor, Steven Spielberg’s The Terminal, and Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu’s Babel.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Times Square and the Squaring of Time 1. Chiastic Spaces: Ports of Entry, Ports of Exit 2. The Migrational City in Chuck Plahniuk's Slumming: A Story by Lady Baglady and Helena Viramontes's The Cariboo Cafe 3. Unbounded Cities, Concentric Circles: Karen Tey Yamashita's Tropic of Orange 4. Borderlands: Middle Spaces, Hybrid Bodies 5. The Rhetoric of Cutting: Borders, Scars, Open Wounds 6. Terminal Thinking: Border Narratives, Airport Narratives and the Logic of Detention 7. Conclusion: From the Great Wall to Babel

About the Authors

Ana María Manzanas is Associate Professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of Salamanca, Spain.

Jesús Benito is Associate Professor of American Literature at the University of Valladolid, Spain.

About the Series

Routledge Transnational Perspectives on American Literature

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / American / General
LITERARY CRITICISM / American / Hispanic American