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Puerto Rican Jam

Rethinking Colonialism and Nationalism

1997
Authors:

Frances Negrón-Muntaner and Ramon Grosfoguel

Puerto Rican Jam

Challenges the framing of Puerto Rican cultural politics as a dichotomy between nationalism and colonialism.

These discussions elaborate alternatives to dominant postcolonial theories, and include essays written from the perspectives of groups that are not usually represented, such as gays and lesbians, youth, blacks, and women. Contributors: Jaime E. Benson-Arias, Arlene Dávila, Chloé S. Georas, Manuel Guzmán, Gladys M. Jiménez-Muñoz, Agustín Lao, Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel, Mariano Négron-Portillo, José Quiroga, Raquel Z. Rivera, Alberto Sandoval Sánchez, and Kelvin A. Santiago-Valles.

“Puerto Rican Jam’s extended focus on a post-nationalist critique is timely and provocative.”

Doris Sommer, Harvard University

Puerto Rican Jam

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The year 1998 represents the hundredth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Puerto Rico. Since that time, the “Puerto Rican archipelago” has come to extend from the island itself, up the Eastern seaboard, and as far west as California and Hawai’i. Puerto Rican Jam considers the issues unique to Puerto Rican culture and politics, issues often encapsulated in concerns about ethnicity, race, gender, and language.

Discussions of Puerto Rican cultural politics usually fall into one of two categories, nationalist or colonialist. Puerto Rican Jam moves beyond this narrow dichotomy, elaborating alternatives to dominant postcolonial theories, and includes essays written from the perspectives of groups that are not usually represented, such as gays and lesbians, youth, blacks, and women. The essays propose different ways of conceptualizing the U.S.-Puerto Rican colonial relationship, thus opening new spaces for political, social, economic, and cultural agency for Puerto Ricans on both the island and the continent. Among the topics discussed are the limitations of nationalism as a transformative and democratizing political discourse, the contradictory impact of American colonialism, language politics, and the 1928 U.S. congressional hearings on women’s suffrage in Puerto Rico.

A groundbreaking contribution to the study of colonialism, Puerto Rican Jam represents an important engagement with issues raised by American expansionism in the Caribbean.

Contributors: Jaime E. Benson-Arias, U of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez; Arlene Dávila, Syracuse U; Chloé S. Georas, SUNY, Binghamton; Manuel Guzmán, CUNY Graduate Center; Gladys M. Jiménez-Muñoz, SUNY, Oneonta; Agustín Lao, SUNY, Binghamton; Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel, U of Puerto Rico; Mariano Négron-Portillo, U of Puerto Rico; José Quiroga, George Washington U; Raquel Z. Rivera, CUNY Graduate Center; Alberto Sandoval Sánchez, Mount Holyoke College; Kelvin A. Santiago-Valles, SUNY, Binghamton.

Frances Negrón-Muntaner is a doctoral candidate in comparative literature at Rutgers University, as well as a poet and filmmaker. Ramón Grosfoguel is assistant professor of sociology at the State University of New York, Binghamton.

Puerto Rican Jam

“Puerto Rican Jam’s extended focus on a post-nationalist critique is timely and provocative.”

Doris Sommer, Harvard University

“This is a serious contribution by serious scholars to an understanding of Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans, wherever they may reside, whatever their politics, their gender, race, or other essential attributes.”

Contemporary Sociology

“This book is unusual for an edited volume in that its thirteen essays contribute to a cohesive and integrated analysis of the chosen subject - how to think about Puerto Rican conceptions of self and community - of puertorriquenidad (Puerto Ricanness). The theme is Puerto Rico but the book has important things to say to all scholars of politics, sociology and literary theory as well as to those who blindly pose nationalism - always by its nature cruel and exclusive - as the only alternative to forms of colonialism. It deserves to be widely read.”

The Ethnic Conflict Research Digest

A provocative collection.

Latin American Research Review

About This Book