It Remains to Be Seen
1 I have added the emphasis in the quotes from On the Road given in the chapter
2 For a complete, comparative discussion of racial repre sentations in Kerouac’s On the
Road and Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s Notas de viaje, please see María Josefina Saldaña-
Portillo, “On the Road with Che Guevara and Jack Kerouac: Melancholia and Colonial
Geographies of Race in the Americas,” New Formations 47 (summer) 2002: 87–108.
3 These maps always prominently feature the southwestern United States to remind
the viewer of the contiguity of the two nations and the proximity of the danger. The
cartel territories are always brightly colored (often in the green, white, and red of the
Mexican flag) and always cover the entirety of Mexico, as if no space were free of
drug violence. Starkly, these territories always stop at the border, although the United
States is the main consumer of all the drug traffic and the main source of weapons
used in the drug economy. It is one economy of production, distribution, and con-
sumption, and it does not stop at the border, as I discuss in detail in this book’s coda.
4 For a critique of comparative method, see Micol Seigel, “Beyond Compare: Com-
parative Method after the Transnational Turn” Radical History Review 91 (winter
2005): 62–90; and Ania Loomba, “Race and the Possibilities of Comparative
Critique,” New Literary History 40 (2009): 501–522.
5 See Comparison: Theories, Approaches, Uses, ed. Rita Felski and Susan Stanford
Friedman (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013), especially “Why
Compare?” by R. Radhakrishnan (15–33) and “Why Not Compare?” by Stanford
Friedman (34–45) therein.
6 For a discussion of transnationalism’s own imbrication with neo colonial and Cold
War interests, as well as a discussion of comparativism and transnationalism as
methods, see David Kazanjian and María Josefina Saldaña- Portillo, “The Traffic in
History,” Social Text 25(3.92) (2007): 1–7. For an example of a transnational history
of race, see James H. Sweet, “The Iberian Roots of American Racist Thought,” Wil-
liam and Mary Quarterly 54(1) (January 1997): 143–166.
7 I am borrowing the term flashpoint from David Kazanjian’s elaboration in The Colo-
nizing Trick: National Culture and Imperial Citizenship in Early America (Minneapo-
lis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003).
8 Jodi Byrd, in her groundbreaking The Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques
of Colonialism (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011), defines
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