Dividing the Isthmus: Central American Transnational Histories, Literatures, and Cultures

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Overview

In 1899, the United Fruit Company (UFCO) was officially incorporated in Boston, Massachusetts, beginning an era of economic, diplomatic, and military interventions in Central America. This event marked the inception of the struggle for economic, political, and cultural autonomy in Central America as well as an era of homegrown inequities, injustices, and impunities to which Central Americans have responded in creative and critical ways. This juncture also set the conditions for the creation of the Transisthmus—a material, cultural, and symbolic site of vast intersections of people, products, and narratives.

Taking 1899 as her point of departure, Ana Patricia Rodríguez offers a comprehensive, comparative, and meticulously researched book covering more than one hundred years, between 1899 and 2007, of modern cultural and literary production and modern empire-building in Central America. She examines the grand narratives of (anti)imperialism, revolution, subalternity, globalization, impunity, transnational migration, and diaspora, as well as other discursive, historical, and material configurations of the region beyond its geophysical and political confines.

Focusing in particular on how the material productions and symbolic tropes of cacao, coffee, indigo, bananas, canals, waste, and transmigrant labor have shaped the transisthmian cultural and literary imaginaries, Rodríguez develops new methodological approaches for studying cultural production in Central America and its diasporas.

Monumental in scope and relentlessly impassioned, this work offers new critical readings of Central American narratives and contributes to the growing field of Central American studies.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292719095
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 308
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

ANA PATRICIA RODRÍGUEZ is Associate Professor of U.S. Latino/a and Central American Literatures in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Maryland, College Park.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction. Central American Transisthmian Histories, Literatures, and Cultures
Chapter 1. Costa Rican Grounds and the Founding of the Coffee Republics
Chapter 2. Nations Divided: U.S. Intervention, Banana Enclaves, and the Panama Canal
Chapter 3. The Power of Indigo: Testimonio, Historiography, and Revolution in Cuzcatlán
Chapter 4. K'atun Turning in Greater Guatemala: Trauma, Impunity, and Diaspora
Chapter 5. The War at Home: Latina/o Solidarity and Central American Immigration
Chapter 6. "Departamento 15": Salvadoran Transnational Migration and Narration
Chapter 7. Wasted Opportunities: Central America after the Revolutions
Epilogue. Weathering the Storm: Central America in the Twenty-first Century
Notes
Works Cited
Index
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