Title

1A: Bless Me, Ultima (1972) and Masculinity on the Borderlands

Presenter Information

Cassidy CliffordFollow

Faculty Mentor(s)

Joshua D. Martin

Campus

Dahlonega

Proposal Type

Panel

Subject Area

Foreign Languages

Location

Panel 1: A (Register Here)

Start Date

26-3-2021 9:00 AM

End Date

26-3-2021 9:50 AM

Description/Abstract

Chicano fiction serves as a rich outlet for people of Mexican-American descent to explore, embrace, and commentate on their history and culture. Perhaps the most famous work of Chicano fiction is Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima. Through the eyes of its young protagonist, Antonio, Bless Me, Ultima tackles themes of gender and masculinity against the backdrop of the borderlands—particularly the toxic and often violent form of masculinity portrayed by the male characters. Though there is abundant literature on the expression of gender within the story, less is understood about how these masculine roles develop. In this paper, I analyze the sociocultural elements of the novel through the framework of hegemonic masculinity and gender performativity to determine the root of the dominant gender script. Furthermore, I analyze the character of Antonio to determine how he ultimately takes a different path. I argue that, through consolidating Western and indigenous elements of borderlands culture, Antonio escapes the dominant gender script while still remaining true to his Chicano identity. Bless Me, Ultima meditates on the toxic gender roles that become pervasive within a culture, but the message is not without hope—through Antonio, the author shows that, by understanding how gender roles within a community form, we can forge our own path while remaining true to our identity.

Key words: Chicano literature, borderlands, hegemonic masculinity, gender performativity, masculinity and gender issues

Part of pre-organized panel: "Latinx Literature and Culture Production along the US-Mexico Border."

Note to Conference Administrators

Part of the panel, "Latinx Literature and Cultural Production along the US-Mexico Border" with Marylee Pelletier and Colton Glaze.

Other presentations:

  1. “Selena Quintanilla: Deconstructing the Feminine Script” (Marylee Pelletier)
  2. "Borders and Identity in Bless Me, Ultima (1972)" (Colton Glaze)

Media Format

flash_audio

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Mar 26th, 9:00 AM Mar 26th, 9:50 AM

1A: Bless Me, Ultima (1972) and Masculinity on the Borderlands

Panel 1: A (Register Here)

Chicano fiction serves as a rich outlet for people of Mexican-American descent to explore, embrace, and commentate on their history and culture. Perhaps the most famous work of Chicano fiction is Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima. Through the eyes of its young protagonist, Antonio, Bless Me, Ultima tackles themes of gender and masculinity against the backdrop of the borderlands—particularly the toxic and often violent form of masculinity portrayed by the male characters. Though there is abundant literature on the expression of gender within the story, less is understood about how these masculine roles develop. In this paper, I analyze the sociocultural elements of the novel through the framework of hegemonic masculinity and gender performativity to determine the root of the dominant gender script. Furthermore, I analyze the character of Antonio to determine how he ultimately takes a different path. I argue that, through consolidating Western and indigenous elements of borderlands culture, Antonio escapes the dominant gender script while still remaining true to his Chicano identity. Bless Me, Ultima meditates on the toxic gender roles that become pervasive within a culture, but the message is not without hope—through Antonio, the author shows that, by understanding how gender roles within a community form, we can forge our own path while remaining true to our identity.

Key words: Chicano literature, borderlands, hegemonic masculinity, gender performativity, masculinity and gender issues

Part of pre-organized panel: "Latinx Literature and Culture Production along the US-Mexico Border."