The Latinx Files: Race, Migration, and Space Aliens
Published by: Rutgers University Press
Imprint: Rutgers University Press
Published: May 2021
166 Pages, 152.00 x 228.00 x 17.70 mm, 12 b-w images
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In The Latinx Files, Matthew David Goodwin traces how Latinx science fiction writers are reclaiming the space alien from its xenophobic legacy in the science fiction genre. The book argues that the space alien is a vital Latinx figure preserving Latinx cultures by activating the myriad possible constructions of the space alien to represent race and migration in the popular imagination. The works discussed in this book, including those of H.G. Wells, Gloria Anzaldúa, Junot Diaz, André M. Carrington, and many others, often explicitly reject the derogatory correlation of the space alien and Latinxs, while at other times, they contain space aliens that function as a source of either enlightenment or horror for Latinx communities. Throughout this nuanced analysis, The Latinx Files demonstrates how the character of the space alien has been significant to Latinx communities and has great potential for future writers and artists.
"There is power in being an alien (from the Latin alienus, meaning stranger): you're always in transit, arriving from somewhere else. Although we Latinos are frequently portrayed as a menace, giving the Anglos the goosebumps, the tides are changing now. In spite of all the anger, it is clear that our planet is a happier, less obfuscating place than the one made by the shrieking Anglos. Jump into this space shuttle made by Commander Matthew Goodwin and explore the universe of chupacabras and other charming monsters. You will discover not only that there is indeed intelligent life in outer space but that it is far more diverse than you ever imagined."Ilan Stavans, general editor of The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature
John Bratzel, author of The Shadow War: German Espionage and United States Counterespionage in Latin America
"Goodwin has written a much needed, sophisticated, and serious analysis of Latinx people and culture in science fiction. Through his sweeping analysis of contemporary Latinx science fiction he demonstrates that Latinx science fiction writers have often used the space invader to represent race and migration."
"This is a long overdue work in the fields of Latinx cultural studies and science fiction studies, bringing both together in a fascinating, in-depth study of the iconic figure of the space alien. Without separating Latinx science fiction into a marginalized enclave, Goodwin's work shows how Latinx writers and artists have long been shaping and responding to science fiction and how science fiction has long been a significant source of inspiration in the Latinx cultural imaginary. This book is sure to be discussed for years to come."Lysa M. Rivera, associate professor of English at Western Washington University