Challenging the long-cherished notion of legal objectivity in the United States, Carl Gutiérrez-Jones argues that Chicano history has been consistently shaped by racially biased, combative legal interactions. Rethinking the Borderlands is an insightful and provocative exploration of the ways Chicano and Chicana artists, writers, musicians, and filmmakers engage this history in order to resist the disenfranchising effects of legal institutions, including the prison and the court.
Gutiérrez-Jones examines the process by which Chicanos have become associated with criminality in both our legal institutions and our mainstream popular culture and thereby offers a new way of understanding minority social experience. Drawing on gender studies and psychoanalysis, as well as critical legal and race studies, Gutiérrez-Jones's approach to the law and legal discourse reveals the high stakes involved when concepts of social justice are fought out in the home, in the workplace and in the streets.
Carl Gutiérrez-Jones is Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
"This is a rich and innovative synthesis of a broad range of theoretical perspectives. It elevates academic discussions of Chicano literature and cultural production to new levels of sophistication."—George Lipsitz, author of Time Passages
"One of the most important works in Chicano cultural criticism to have been written in the last twenty years. Its critique of American legal discourse is rigorous, piquant, and dazzling in its elegance."—Ramón Gutiérrez, author of When Jesus Came the Corn Mothers Went Away
"Offers a new perspective on Chicano cultural practices by bringing together for the first time critical legal studies, film and media studies, and cultural studies. His work is sure to draw a whole new readership to the field of Chicano and Chicana studies. Scholars will find this a wonderfully profitable book."—Ramon Saldivar, Stanford University