Chasing the androcentric remainder in United States-Spanish Caribbean literature
This dissertation focuses on relations between writing and gender in the context of Spanish Caribbean literary production and activism in New York City. The author describes and interrogates the enduring leftover of an age-old tradition of hegemonic male power known as androcentrism, and the emergence of subaltern Hispanic/Latino, male subjectivities as reiterations of previous androcentric practices, as attempts at contesting/transcending the latter, or as the multivalent negotiation of both. The work underscores the continued relevance of Hispanic/Latino literary production in the debate on masculinities, presents the work of signal and lesser known male writers, and makes the case for a renewed engagement with feminist and lesbian/gay/queer textual politics by way of "a hermeneutics of hope."
In the introduction, the author makes the case for subaltern contestations of hegemonic discourses on gender, discusses the problem of language and interpellation, surveys literary-historical approaches to Spanish Caribbean writing in the U.S., and provides a working definition of the androcentric remainder. Subsequent chapters focus on writers José Martí (1853-1895), Clemente Soto Vélez (1905-1993), Manuel Ramos Otero (1948-1990), and Abraham Rodriguez, Jr. (1961- ). All but one are Puerto Ricans, and the dissertation also contends that the Puerto Rican case is especially apt for discussion of subaltern masculinities.
Chapter Two tracks the androcentric remainder in Martí's paternalist self-figurations in the essays "Nuestra América" and "Madre América", the novel Amistad funesta, stories from La Edad de Oro, and the patriot's personal letters to María Mantilla. Chapter Three maps Soto Vélez's transition from insular vanguard to subaltern migrant poetics with close readings of his books Escalio, Abrazo interno, and Árboles. Chapter Four deals with homosexuality, abjection, and queer exemplarity in Ramos Otero. Texts examined in detail are the essay "Ficción e historia: texto y pretexto de la autobiografía," and the stories "Descuento" and "Loca la de la locura." Chapter Five studies the face-off between Pedro Albizu Campos and The Beatles embedded in Rodriguez's often-anthologized story "A Boy Without A Flag." His essay "looking for ed rivera" and Federico Ribes Tovar's popular biography Albizu Campos: Puerto Rican Revolutionary are also discussed.
0360: Caribbean literature