My 2001 study, Rewriting North American Borders in Chicano and Chicana Narrative, investigates the ways in which Mexican American narrative is situated at the intersections of the national (U.S. American), American ethnic, and the transnational (routes to Mexico).
I have just completed two related projects on the New World Baroque and the Neobaroque. The first, Baroque New Worlds: Representation, Transculturation, Counterconquest (co-edited with Lois Parkinson Zamora), is a collection that traces the changing nature of Baroque representation in Europe and the Americas across four centuries, from its seventeenth-century origins as a Catholic and monarchical aesthetic and ideology to its contemporary function as a postcolonial ideology aimed at disrupting entrenched power structures and perceptual categories.
The other, Neobaroque in the Americas: Alternative Modernities in Literature, Visual Art, and Film, is a comparative, hemispheric American study of the Neobaroque—the 20th (and 21st) century recovery of the Baroque—in modern and postmodern North American and Latin American literature, film, visual arts, and theory. It examines understudied Baroque writers and trends, such as the Baroque revival in Anglo American modernism—largely ignored due to Anglophone culture’s ingrained wariness of the Baroque—as well as popular Baroques in U.S. Latino/a visual culture, which have reanimated the anti-colonial mestizo New World Baroque, extending its scope from 17th and 18th-century Latin America into 20th and 21st century North America. Reflecting on the rich, non-linear transhistorical and transcultural genealogy of Baroque expression, Neobaroque in the Americas envisions the Baroque as an anti-proprietary expression that brings together seemingly disparate writers and artists. Opening with a portrait of Neobaroque T.S. Eliot and closing with analyses of contemporary Baroques in Chicano lowriders and the Hip Hop Baroque in Cuban American art, it also examines the major works of Djuna Barnes, contemporary anti-dictatorship literature and film from Chile and Argentina by Diamela Eltit, José Donoso, Raúl Ruiz and María Luisa Bemberg, and the work of Mexican American artists Amalia Mesa-Bains and Rubén Ortiz Torres.