By Julie Avril Minich
A quantity within the American Literatures Initiative
Read or Download Accessible Citizenships. Disability, Nation, and the Cultural Politics of Greater Mexico PDF
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Extra resources for Accessible Citizenships. Disability, Nation, and the Cultural Politics of Greater Mexico
But it is precisely because the novel refuses to provide unequivocally “positive” images that it is able to give such 42 / the body politic of aztlán a complex assessment of the psychic damage that occurs when marginalized people unconsciously assimilate the discourses that oppress them. One of The Rain God’s most crucial political interventions is its depiction of characters in the act of struggling against the harmful dominant ideologies they have come to internalize. As a result, the novel supports Moya’s insight that “the theories through which humans interpret their experiences vary from individual to individual, from time to time, and from situation to situation” (Learning from Experience 39–40), as Miguel Chico comes to recognize his lack of concern for his own survival as the result of his grandmother’s worldview.
For instance, current efforts by undocumented immigrants in the United States to establish cultural citizenship can broaden the idea of basic rights to include the right to labor outside one’s nation of origin or the right to live in the same territory as one’s children or life partner. Michael Bérubé makes a similar point when he reminds us that the rights of people with disabilities “were invented, and implemented slowly and with great difficulty” (“Citizenship and Disability” 55). For Bérubé, the claiming of rights by minoritized groups makes possible a new understanding of democracy: as we seek “to extend the promise of democracy to previously excluded individuals and groups,” he writes, we discover that “our understandings of democracy and parity are infinitely revisable” (56).
In this way, my analysis of these texts reveals potential political alliances between people with disabilities and racialized minority groups. Accessible Citizenships elucidates the role played by representations of disability in making the rights and benefits of citizenship (both cultural and political) more accessible. Furthermore, it provides an account of how and why the communities we create look radically different when we envision disability as a central part of them. pa r t o n e The Body Politic of Aztlán 1 / Enabling Aztlán: Arturo Islas Jr.
Accessible Citizenships. Disability, Nation, and the Cultural Politics of Greater Mexico by Julie Avril Minich