Spatial and Discursive Violence in the US Southwest by Rosaura Sánchez, Beatrice Pita
In Spatial and Discursive Violence in the US Southwest Rosaura Sánchez and Beatrice Pita examine literary representations of settler colonial land enclosure and dispossession in the history of New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma. Sánchez and Pita analyze a range of Chicano/a and Native American novels, films, short stories, and other cultural artifacts from the eighteenth century to the present, showing how Chicano/a works often celebrate an idealized colonial Spanish past as a way to counter stereotypes of Mexican and Indigenous racial and ethnic inferiority. As they demonstrate, these texts often erase the participation of Spanish and Mexican settlers in the dispossession of Indigenous lands. Foregrounding the relationship between literature and settler colonialism, they consider how literary representations of land are manipulated and redefined in ways that point to the changing practices of dispossession. In so doing, Sánchez and Pita prompt critics to reconsider the role of settler colonialism in the deep history of the United States and how spatial and discursive violence are always correlated.
“In Spatial and Discursive Violence in the U.S. Southwest, Rosaura Sánchez and Beatrice Pita present a brilliant critical history of the enclosure of land, water, and other resources while making a powerful argument for the significance of literature as a window into everyday contexts of enclosure. Partly focused on what literature makes visible, the authors also illuminate its powers of invisibility and its elision of the historical and material conditions of enclosure. Sánchez and Pita thus make a field-transforming intervention, suggesting Chicanx literature's origins in the repression of Indigenous people's responses to dispossession.” — Curtis Marez, author of University Babylon: Film and Race Politics on Campus
“Ushering in a timely and fully formed paradigm for the study of spatial and discursive violence, Rosaura Sánchez and Beatrice Pita teach readers a valuable and sustained lesson in the all important nuances and responsibilities of applied theory. This is the book Chicana/o literary history has been waiting for.” — Angie Chabram, editor of The Chicana/o Cultural Studies Reader