Masculinidades e interseccionalidades en las novelas de crimen de Lucha Corpi, Carlos Cisneros y Alicia Gaspar de Alba



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In this dissertation I examine the masculinities represented in Mexican American novels: Eulogy for a Brown Angel (1992) and Cactus Blood (1995) by Lucha Corpi; The Case Runner (2008) and The Land Grant (2012) by Carlos Cisneros; and Desert Blood (2005) by Alicia Gaspar de Alba. The main objective of each chapter of this dissertation is divided into two parts: 1) At the genre level: I develop on how the authors (de)construct the normative and traditional characteristics of the genre and how these authors insert contexts and characters tied to the Mexican American community in the United States. 2) At the textual level: I utilize the theoretical concepts of masculinities and the intersectionalities to analyze the characters, putting an emphasis in their alternative performances and their strategies of survival in their respective masculine environments. In Chapter 1, I propose that Lucha Corpi breaks the canonical and traditional masculine norms typical of the crime novel by being the first Chicana writer to create a Chicana detective. I also consider how the author develops a multicultural novel that concentrates on the representation and the concerns of the Chicano community during the Chicano Movement. At the textual level, I analyze how the detective Damasco uses different strategies, such as her collectivity and extrasensory power, to navigate inside a patriarchal context. In Chapter 2, I explore how Carlos Cisneros in his novels works in an innovative genre such as the Tex-Mex legal thriller. At the textual level, I argue that the protagonist Alex implements a traditional individualistic and heroic masculine performance. In this chapter I also focus on the toxic and patriarchal context, which is connected to the degradation and the stereotyping of the female characters of both novels. In Chapter 3, I argue that Alicia Gaspar de Alba, at the genre level, by creating a lesbian novel, opposes the traditional gender and sexuality norms of the crime genre. At the textual level I study the importance of the patriarchal and hegemonic context in which the protagonist Ivón Villa and other women from the border navigate. Specifically, I focus on the role that power structures, such as the police force, the “maquiladoras” and pornography play and how these affect the border citizens.



Masculinidades, Interseccionidades, Literatura mexicoamericana, United States Latina/o literature, Literatura U.S. Latina/o, Novela de crimen