Dividing the Isthmus: Central American Transnational Histories, Literatures, and Cultures

Paperback | May 1, 2010

byAna Patricia Rodríguez

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In 1899, the United Fruit Company (UFCO) was officially incorporated in Boston, Massachusetts, beginning an era of economic, diplomatic, and military interventions in Central America. This event marked the inception of the struggle for economic, political, and cultural autonomy in Central America as well as an era of homegrown inequities, injustices, and impunities to which Central Americans have responded in creative and critical ways. This juncture also set the conditions for the creation of the Transisthmus—a material, cultural, and symbolic site of vast intersections of people, products, and narratives.

Taking 1899 as her point of departure, Ana Patricia Rodríguez offers a comprehensive, comparative, and meticulously researched book covering more than one hundred years, between 1899 and 2007, of modern cultural and literary production and modern empire-building in Central America. She examines the grand narratives of (anti)imperialism, revolution, subalternity, globalization, impunity, transnational migration, and diaspora, as well as other discursive, historical, and material configurations of the region beyond its geophysical and political confines.

Focusing in particular on how the material productions and symbolic tropes of cacao, coffee, indigo, bananas, canals, waste, and transmigrant labor have shaped the transisthmian cultural and literary imaginaries, Rodríguez develops new methodological approaches for studying cultural production in Central America and its diasporas.

Monumental in scope and relentlessly impassioned, this work offers new critical readings of Central American narratives and contributes to the growing field of Central American studies.

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In 1899, the United Fruit Company (UFCO) was officially incorporated in Boston, Massachusetts, beginning an era of economic, diplomatic, and military interventions in Central America. This event marked the inception of the struggle for economic, political, and cultural autonomy in Central America as well as an era of homegrown inequiti...

ANA PATRICIA RODRÍGUEZ is Associate Professor of U.S. Latino/a and Central American Literatures in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:308 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:May 1, 2010Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292723482

ISBN - 13:9780292723481

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction. Central American Transisthmian Histories, Literatures, and CulturesChapter 1. Costa Rican Grounds and the Founding of the Coffee RepublicsChapter 2. Nations Divided: U.S. Intervention, Banana Enclaves, and the Panama CanalChapter 3. The Power of Indigo: Testimonio, Historiography, and Revolution in CuzcatlánChapter 4. K'atun Turning in Greater Guatemala: Trauma, Impunity, and DiasporaChapter 5. The War at Home: Latina/o Solidarity and Central American ImmigrationChapter 6. "Departamento 15": Salvadoran Transnational Migration and NarrationChapter 7. Wasted Opportunities: Central America after the RevolutionsEpilogue. Weathering the Storm: Central America in the Twenty-first CenturyNotesWorks CitedIndex