Negotiating Performance

Gender, Sexuality, and Theatricality in Latin/o America

Negotiating Performance

Book Pages: 368 Illustrations: 36 b&w photographs Published: December 1994

Chicanx and Latinx Studies, Latin American Studies, Theater and Performance > Theater

In Negotiating Performance, major scholars and practitioners of the theatrical arts consider the diversity of Latin American and U. S. Latino performance: indigenous theater, performance art, living installations, carnival, public demonstrations, and gender acts such as transvestism. By redefining performance to include such events as Mayan and AIDS theater, the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, and Argentinean drag culture, this energetic volume discusses the dynamics of Latino/a identity politics and the sometimes discordant intersection of gender, sexuality, and nationalisms.
The Latin/o America examined here stretches from Patagonia to New York City, bridging the political and geographical divides between U.S. Latinos and Latin Americans. Moving from Nuyorican casitas in the South Bronx, to subversive street performances in Buenos Aires, to border art from San Diego/Tijuana, this volume negotiates the borders that bring Americans together and keep them apart, while at the same time debating the use of the contested term "Latino/a." In the emerging dialogue, contributors reenvision an inclusive "América," a Latin/o America that does not pit nationality against ethnicity—in other words, a shared space, and a home to all Latin/o Americans.
Negotiating Performance opens up the field of Latin/o American theater and performance criticism by looking at performance work by Mayans, women, gays, lesbians, and other marginalized groups. In so doing, this volume will interest a wide audience of students and scholars in feminist and gender studies, theater and performance studies, and Latin American and Latino cultural studies.

Contributors. Judith Bettelheim, Sue-Ellen Case, Juan Flores, Jean Franco, Donald H. Frischmann, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Jorge Huerta, Tiffany Ana López, Jacqueline Lazú, María Teresa Marrero, Cherríe Moraga, Kirsten F. Nigro, Patrick O’Connor, Jorge Salessi, Alberto Sandoval, Cynthia Steele, Diana Taylor, Juan Villegas, Marguerite Waller


“This is an essential and quite brilliant collection . . . essential because it brings together a panoply of scholars and artists writing on a broad assortment of topics pertaining to gender and sexuality, performance, and theatricality in Latin America and in U.S. Latino communities; brilliant, in its concept and the effectiveness with which it balances a multiplicity of voices and in its intertwining of pesonal narrative, scholarly analysis, historiography, and chronicles of contemporary Latino art.” — Judith A. Weiss , Essays in Theatre

"Among its many virtues, Negotiating Performance has the merit of bravely tackling the thorny issue of Latino identity head-on. Taylor’s strong and thoughtful introduction sets the tone for a challenging reflection on the pitfalls of a multiculturalist stance (be it purely commercial or naively sympathetic) that blithely incorporates, homogenizes, and dispatches differences without ever dwelling on the more profound implications of those differences in U. S. culture today." — Sylvia Molloy, New York University

"The attractiveness of Negotiating Performance lies exactly in the boldness of including a diverse group of essays, each of which speaks with its own voice. It will provide valuable insights into areas of contemporary interest in theatre studies." — George Woodyard, University of Kansas


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Diana Taylor is Associate Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at Dartmouth College. She is the author of Theater in Crisis: Drama and Politics in Latin America.

Juan Villegas is Chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of California, Irvine. He is the director of Gestos as well as the author of numerous novels and scholarly works in Spanish.

Table of Contents Back to Top

Opening Remarks / Diana Taylor

The Multicultural Paradigm: An Open Letter to the National Arts Community / Guillermo Gomez-Pena

Art in America con Acento / Cherrie Moraga

Looking for the Magic: Chicanos in the Mainstream / Jorge Huerta

Staging AIDS: What's Latinos Got To Do With It? / Alberto Sandoval

Border Boda or Divorce Fronterizo? / Marguerite Waller

Seduced and Abandoned: Chicanas and Lesbians in Representation / Sue-Ellen Case

Public Art, Performance Art, and the politics of Site / Maria Teresa Marrero

"Salvacion Casita": Puerto Rican Performance and Vernacular Architecture in the South Bronx / Juan Flores

Inventions and Transgressions: A Fractured Narrative on Feminist Theatre in Mexico / Kirsten F. Nigro

A Touch of Evil: Jesusa Rodriguez's Subversive Church / Jean Franco

Ethnicity, Gender, and Power: Carnaval in Santiago de Cuba / Judith Bettelheim

New Mayan Theatre in Chiapas: Anthropology, Literacy, and Social Drama / Donald H. Frischmann

"A Woman Fell into the River": Negotiating Female Subjects in Contemporary Mayan Theatre / Cynthia Steele

For Carnival, Clinic, and Camera: Argentina's Turn-of-the-Century Drag Culture Performs "Woman" / Jorge Salessi and Patrick O'Connor

Performing Gender: Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo / Diana Taylor

Closing Remarks / Juan Villegas

Bibliography / Tiffany Ana Lopez and Jacqueline Lazu


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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1515-5 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-1504-9
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