Boricua Pop is the first book solely devoted to Puerto Rican visibility, cultural impact, and identity formation in the U.S. and at home. Frances Negrón-Muntaner explores everything from the beloved American musical West Side Story to the phenomenon of singer/actress/ fashion designer Jennifer Lopez, from the faux historical chronicle Seva to the creation of Puerto Rican Barbie, from novelist Rosario Ferré to performer Holly Woodlawn, and from painter provocateur Andy Warhol to the seemingly overnight success story of Ricky Martin. Negrón-Muntaner traces some of the many possible itineraries of exchange between American and Puerto Rican cultures, including the commodification of Puerto Rican cultural practices such as voguing, graffiti, and the Latinization of pop music. Drawing from literature, film, painting, and popular culture, and including both the normative and the odd, the canonized authors and the misfits, the island and its diaspora, Boricua Pop is a fascinating blend of low life and high culture: a highly original, challenging, and lucid new work by one of our most talented cultural critics.
About the Author
Frances Negron-Muntaner is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, journalist, and cultural critic. She is the co-editor of Puerto Rican Jam and author of Anatomy of a Smile. She currently teaches at Columbia University and lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
Part I Founding Spectacles
1 Weighing In Theory: Puerto Ricans and American Culture
2 1898: The Trauma of Literature, the Shame of Identity
3 Feeling Pretty: West Side Story and U.S. Puerto Rican Identity
Part II Boricuasin the Middle
4 From Puerto Rico with Trash: Holly Woodlawn’s A Low Life in High Heels
5 The Writing on the Wall: The Life and Passion of Jean-Michel Basquiat
6 Flagging Madonna: Performing a Puerto Rican–American Erotics
Part III Boricua Anatomies
7 Rosario’s Tongue: Rosario Ferré and the Commodi?cation of Island Literature
8 Barbie’s Hair: Selling Out Puerto Rican Identity in the Global Market
9 Jennifer’s Butt: Valorizing the Puerto Rican Racialized Female Body
10 Ricky’s Hips: The Queerness of Puerto Rican “White” Culture
Postscript: Words from the Grave
About the Author
What People are Saying About This
"A brilliant intervention in the culture and politics of Latinos in the United States. Important, timely, and innovative, Boricua Pop is a stellar addition to a body of work that grows in importance over time. Negrón-Muntaner's book is eagerly anticipated."
-José Quiroga,author of Tropics of Desire
"Frances Negrón-Muntaner is a challenging and provocative scholar whose multi-focal positionings turn the Puerto Rican process of colonization and migration into a fascinating transcultural hologram. Boricua Pop is a foundational text in American, Latino/a, Queer, Performance, and Cultural Studies."
-Alberto Sandoval-Sánchez,Mount Holyoke College
"A perspicacious new book and one of the most intellectually exciting works of recent years, Boricua Pop: Puerto Ricans and the latinization of American Culture gives new meaning to the idea of the pleasure of the text.
"Provocative and broad-ranging . . . This eclectic, always interesting work will be certain to elicit discussion among faculty and students of ethnic studies, US popular culture, and Puerto Rican and Latino studies."
"Mixing the down and dirty with high culture to come up with good look at the transculture effects of it all."
-San Juan Star