FINDING IDENTITY IN A HYBRID CULTURE: CONNECTIONS BETWEEN FRONTERIZO MEDIEVAL LITERATURE AND MEXICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE
Committee memberPueyo Zoco, Víctor
Hey-Colón, Rebeca L.
Mexican American border
Modern border literature
Spanish Medieval Iberia
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/6529
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AbstractThis dissertation identifies similarities in identity formation in literature from medieval Iberia and present-day Mexico and United States border literature. The development of a fronterizo hybrid culture is exemplified in the texts where cultural exchange is achieved in many of the daily interchanges between the inhabitants of these communities.With the application of multicultural studies that suggest attention to cultural diversity as well as postcolonial theory as my theoretical framework, it was clear that with prolonged contract between multiple cultures a hybrid identity is attained. The texts that exemplify hybridity in al-Andalus included various romances fronterizos, Historia de Flores y Blancaflor, and El Abencerraje. Through these relevant works I was able to detect different themes such as war practices, intermarriage, garden motifs, and knightly values that were shared by individuals and determined the construction of a hybrid identity. Language and customs were adopted and adapted in this space and the literature reflects this fact by an exchange of Arabic and Spanish language references that lead the reader to determine the construction of hybridity. Similarly, the fronterizo literature from contemporary Mexico and the United States border demonstrates the construction of a fronterizo identity. The texts of Carlos Fuentes’ La frontera de cristal (The Glass Border), Yuri Herrera’s Señales que precederán al fin del mundo (Signs that will precede the end of the world), Sandra Cisneros’s short story “Mericans”, Luis Humberto Crosthwaite’s Estrella de la calle sexta (The star of Sixth Street), and Elmer Mendoza with Cóbraselo caro (Make him pay dearly), are clear examples of identity formation on the border. As in the literature from medieval Iberia, the distinct language employed by frontier individuals confirms the fusion and creation of hybrity. I concluded that literature from borderlands no matter from which historical period, prove that with years of coexistence and exchange a hybrid fronterizo identity was developed that changed the landscape of this unique community. My research demonstrates how life on the border permits people to construct a culture that is enriched by multiple populations and can contribute to a new way of thinking.
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