The Borderlands of Culture

The Borderlands of Culture

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Poet, novelist, journalist, and ethnographer, AmAcrico Paredes (1915a€“1999) was a pioneering figure in Mexican American border studies and a founder of Chicano studies. Paredes taught literature and anthropology at the University of Texas, Austin for decades, and his ethnographic and literary critical work laid the groundwork for subsequent scholarship on the folktales, legends, and riddles of Mexican Americans. In this beautifully written literary history, the distinguished scholar RamA³n SaldAsvar establishes Paredesa€™s preeminent place in writing the contested cultural history of the south Texas borderlands. At the same time, SaldAsvar reveals Paredes as a precursor to the a€œnewa€ American cultural studies by showing how he perceptively negotiated the contradictions between the national and transnational forces at work in the Americas in the nascent era of globalization. SaldAsvar demonstrates how Paredesa€™s poetry, prose, and journalism prefigured his later work as a folklorist and ethnographer. In song, story, and poetry, Paredes first developed the themes and issues that would be central to his celebrated later work on the a€œborder studiesa€ or a€œanthropology of the borderlands.a€ SaldAsvar describes how Paredesa€™s experiences as an American soldier, journalist, and humanitarian aid worker in Asia shaped his understanding of the relations between Anglos and Mexicans in the borderlands of south Texas and of national and ethnic identities more broadly. SaldAsvar was a friend of Paredes, and part of The Borderlands of Culture is told in Paredesa€™s own words. By explaining how Paredesa€™s work engaged with issues central to contemporary scholarship, SaldAsvar extends Paredesa€™s intellectual project and shows how it contributes to the remapping of the field of American studies from a transnational perspective.[laughter] Instead, he convinced him that if he thought that the book was unfair he should write his own book. And so he ... I left the Universityof Texas in 1956 after receiving my PhD degree and returned in 1957. ... I received only two job offers.

Title:The Borderlands of Culture
Author:Ramón Saldívar
Publisher:Duke University Press - 2010-07-01


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