The Latinx Files
166 pages, 6 x 9
12 b-w images
Paperback
Release Date:14 May 2021
ISBN:9781978815100
Hardcover
Release Date:14 May 2021
ISBN:9781978815117
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The Latinx Files

Race, Migration, and Space Aliens

Rutgers University Press
In science fiction and popular culture, Latinxs and Latinx immigrants are often correlated with invading space aliens. At times serious, at other times a farce, this correlation is typically meant in a derogatory way to portray Latinxs as foreign and threatening the nation. 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 which is 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 Gloria Anzaldúa, Junot Diaz, Lalo Alcaraz, 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
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. John Bratzel, author of The Shadow War: German Espionage and United States Counterespionage in Latin America
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
MATTHEW DAVID GOODWIN is a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton. His work is focused on the ways that science fiction, fantasy, and digital culture are being used by Latinx authors. He is the editor of two anthologies: Latinx Rising and Speculative Fiction for Dreamers.
 
FREDERICK LUIS ALDAMA is a Distinguished University Professor, Arts & Humanities Distinguished Professor of English, University Distinguished Scholar, and Alumni Distinguished Teacher at the Ohio State University in Columbus as well as an Eisner award winning author.
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