Northwestern University

Wed 5:00 PM

Impassing Subjects: Latinidad, Normativity, and the Making of Central American-Americans

When: Wednesday, January 23, 2019
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM  

Where: Kresge Hall, 1-515, 1880 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Carlos Octavio Ballinas   847.467.3980

Group: The Latina and Latino Studies Program

Category: Academic


Lecture by: Maritza Cardenas, Associate Professor, Department of English, Institute for LGBTQ Studies, Program in Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory (SCCT), University of Arizona


This talk will explore the cultural and material effects of certain dominant discourses of Latinidad. I argue that such discourses construct a Latinx “grid of cultural intelligibility,” one which creates normative understandings of what and who can be seen as Latinx. An effect of this grid of intelligibility is that it has enabled the production of a Central American-American subjectivity. However, in some contexts, it has also rendered Central American-American bodies and the signifier “Central American” unintelligible. In my presentation I highlight these (mis)readings of Central American bodies in order to explicate the phenomenon of what I have termed impassing. I also call attention to how this constant sense of being invisible among social groups has created a space of belonging for Central American-American subjects.

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