Ali Troiano

  • Judith Butler’s idea of “performativity” suggests that one’s identity is a mere “performance,” the repetition of certain socially constructed practices, such as appearance, actions, and attitudes. “In other words, acts, gestures, and desires produce the effect of an internal core or substance Such acts, gestures, enactments, generally construed, are performative in the sense that the essence […]

  • In Durán’s “Nation and Translation:The Pachuco in Mexican Popular Culture: German Valdez’s Tin Tan,” Durán uses the idea of “mimcry” to explain how the pachuco culture “gives him a location in (and out of) culture.” Homi Bhabha’s theory on mimcry gives insight on how the pachuco culture uses mimicry:

    “Which is to say, that the discourse […]

  • ThumbnailGerman Valdéz “Tin Tan”– Known for popularizing “pachuco culture” Zoot Suit dress in Latino community.   “Wearing baggy, drape-like fashions, posturing defiantly before others, claiming possession of a street corner and using caló to communicate: all are exaggerated to such a degree that they become an exercise in mimicry…In the case of the pachuco, the camouflage and mimicry […]

  • “The habitual speaker of such a mix ends by speaking not two, or even one complete language, but fragments of two that are no longer capable of standing alone or serving the speaker well with any larger audience. As a literary device with limited appeal and durability, ‘Spanglish,’ like other such blends, is expressive and fresh.  […]

  • “Outside of the house was public society; inside the house was private. Just opening or closing the screen door behind me was an important experience…Nervously, I’d arrive at the grocery store or hear there the sounds of the gringo – foreign to me – reminding me that in this world so big, I was a foreigner. But […]

  • “‘ Tengo Puerto Rico en Mi Corazón’ – ‘ I Have Puerto Rico in My Heart.’ We loved it, and it soon spread through out Puerto Rican circles. Only years later did we lean that it contained a slight grammatical error, a testimonial to the bad Spanish most of us ‘spoke.’ We were truly example of Ricans raised […]

  • “… it did not suggest that English was ready to do to me what Spanish itself had done to others so many during its evolution, what it had done, in fact, to my own parents: wrenched them from the arms of their original language. And yet I am being unfair to Spanish – and also, therefore, […]

  • Gloria Anzaldúa comments on the effects of the Treaty of Guadalupe – Hidalgo on Mexicans:

    “The Gringo, locked into the fiction of white superiority, seized complete political power, stripping Indians and Mexicans of their land while their feet were still rooted in it. Con el destierro y el exilio fuimos desunados, destroncados, destripados – we were jerked […]

  • “Exile is not only alienation. It can be a cosmopolitanism, albeit an involuntary and painful one. The experience of transposition, which is deeply related to translation, implies the possible convergence of two unpaired spheres, that of the exile and that of the host. People in exile are never completely dispossessed; like snails, they always carry alone […]

  • ” I walked under the elevated, and turned right at Eighty-seventh Street. I began to metamorphose; the closer I got to my mother’s house, the more Colombian I became. Intense cravings for foods that were unavailable to me in the city – sach as ajiaco, arepa de buevo, morcillas, chicharrones – awoke in me” (Manrique 1731)

    The […]

  • “And, in a way, it didn’t matter very much that my parents could not speak English with ease. Their linguistic difficulties has no serious consequences. My mother and father made themselves understood at the county hspital clinic and at the government offices. And yet, in another way, it mattered very much – it was unsettling to […]

  • When I first started watching the first video (Inside the AC360 doll study), what struck me the most were the reasons the children gave for their responses. Without the reasons, “ because he is black” or “because he is brown,” one could argue that the white children simply pick the darker figures because it is […]

  • When I first started watching the first video (Inside the AC360 doll study), what struck me the most were the reasons the children gave for their responses. Without the reasons, “ because he is black” or “because he is brown,” one could argue that the white children simply pick the darker figures because it is […]

  • This video was hard to watch because I couldn’t even imagine that these types of encounters actually go on to that extreme.  It was also interesting to be viewing it from the view of the Mexican man. From this perspective it was easy to imagine all of the white people surrounding him.  It was […]

  • I think the first video has a more effective means of getting a political message across because there is a more specific target group and argument made in this video. It also made a bigger problem and argument applicable to a more relatable situation on a smaller scale than the “Star Spanglish Banner” […]

  • “Instead of promoting humanity’s fundamental aspirations- equality and participation – our immigration policies and the practices of many U.S. employers have endorsed the twin plagues of humanity: exploitation and discrimination. These scourges are most vividly demonstrates in America by cheap wages and wretched working conditions for immigrant workers” (Chávez 776)

    In this excerpt from César Chávez’s […]

  • “I owned the land as far as the eye could see under the crown of Spain, and I toiled on my earth and gave my Indian sweat and blood                for the Spanish master who ruled with tyranny over man and beast and all that he could trample.                                                         BUT . . .             THE GROUND WAS MINE. I was both tyrant and slave” (Gonzales […]

  • “indictment,               indictment       INDICTMENT OF AMERICA??? yes, yes, yes,                     YES!!!!!! AMERIKA        land of el hijo de la chingada, land of landed gentry gorging on gringoismo, land of exploitation, creator of pollution,” (Sánchez 1326)

    In this excerpt from Ricardo Sánchez’s “Indict America,” Sanchez criticizes America and the racism that America perpetuates. His first attack on America is seen […]


    In this excerpt from Zoot Suit Act I, the character of Pachuco speaks in both Spanish and English, or Spanglish. I do not speak any Spanish, but it is clear to me, in […]

  • Américo Paredes describes the Texas Rangers place in “border folklore”:

    “The Rangers have been pictured as a fearless, almost superhuman breed of men, capable of incredible feats. It may take a company of militia to quell a riot, but one Ranger was said to be enough for one mob. Evildoers, especially Mexican ones, were said to […]

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