Preface
Contemporary debates in comparative transethnic cultural studies chal-
lenge Anglo-America’s protected status as the exclusive holder of cultural
and literary value. Chicana/o, Native American, feminist, and postcolonial
literary and cultural studies provide a series of crucial challenges to patri-
archally driven Anglo-American and Eurocentric theoretical assumptions
and literary practices. These textual, theoretical, and inherently political
interventions rupture or at least problematize the hermetic seals that have
surrounded the uncontested dominance of Eurocentric literary and cul-
tural canons and their ties to the colonial imposition and neocolonial main-
tenance of social privilege in the political economy of the United States.
The disruption of these seals of privilege provides alternate spaces for
the articulation of subaltern voices whose ‘‘identities in difference’’ (mes-
tizaje, race, class, gender, sexuality, immigration status, and indigenous
land claims, to name a few)
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challenge the discursive economy of a nation-
state legitimized through the imperial and genocidal practices of ‘‘mani-
fest destiny.’’ Crystallized by the militarized rubicon of the U.S./Mexico
border, the rise of Chicana/o, Mexican émigré, and Native American voices
opens epistemic spaces that allow the emergence of subjectivities that are
‘‘old’’—even ancient—in their linkages to the diverse cultural and histori-
cal genealogies of the Americas and yet also are radically ‘‘new’’ in terms
of cultural and linguistic hybridity.
Driven by 508 brutal years of material and psychic colonialism, the
questions of mestizaje (racial, ethnic, and cultural mixing), the insidious
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