Border Matters locates the study of Chicano culture in a broad social context. José Saldívar examines issues of representation and expression in a diverse, exciting assortment of texts—corridos, novels, poems, short stories, punk and hip-hop music, ethnography, paintings, performance, art, and essays. Saldívar provides a sophisticated model for a new kind of U.S. cultural studies, one that challenges the homogeneity of U.S. nationalism and popular culture by foregrounding the contemporary experiences and historical circumstances facing Chicanos and Chicanas.
This intellectually adventurous, politically engaged study applies borderlands and diaspora theory to Chicano cultural practices in a way that permanently changes our understanding of both the Chicano experience and the meaning of cultural theory. Defying national (and nationalistic) paradigms of culture, Saldívar argues that the culture of the borderlands is trans-national, constituting a social space in which new relations, hybrid cultures, and multi-voiced aesthetics are negotiated.
Saldívar's critical readings treat culture as a social force and reveal the presence of social contexts within cultural texts. Border Matters maps out a new terrain for the study of culture, reshaping the way we understand migration, national identity, and intellectual inquiry itself.
José David Saldívar is Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of The Dialectics of Our America: Genealogy, Cultural Critique and Literary History (1991).
"A brilliant new vision of the multiple migrations, metaphoric and material, that occur within and between intricate, evolving cultures of the U.S. and Mexico. By joining British and U.S. cultural studies to the study of the U.S. borderlands, Saldívar establishes the trans-Latin as a complex and contradictory space of ethnic identity, cultural imagination and political struggle. Border Matters is a groundbreaking book that not only casts light on regions that have been shadowed by neglect and disdain, but it also forces us to redraw, even unmap, the shifting intellectual borders of American cultural studies."—Michael Eric Dyson, Race Rules: Navigating the Color Line
"Border Matters is exemplary in its detailed and sophisticated investigation of cultural texts. . . . A valuable work of intellectual history as well as a tour de force of contemporary cultural criticism."—George Lipsitz, author of Time Passages
"Saldívar presents and reworks very complex issues in a manner that will make this book accessible, even inviting, to non-expert readers, yet he loses none of the edge of his argument. . . . This is a groundbreaking work that does much more than define a new field—it revolutionizes the predominant ways we tend to organize intellectual inquiry."—Carl Gutiérrez-Jones, author of Rethinking the Borderlands