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ERIC Number: EJ880841
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0005-2604
Toward a Borderlands Ethics: The Undocumented Migrant and Haunted Communities in Contemporary Chicana/o Fiction
Ramirez, Pablo A.
Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, v35 n1 p49-67 Spr 2010
By reading Helena Maria Viramontes's "Cariboo Cafe" and Daniel Chacon's "Godoy Lives," this essay argues that Chicana/o fiction articulates what I call a "borderlands ethics." Both Viramontes and Chacon give the undocumented migrant the power to merge the United States and Latin America, self and other, citizen and noncitizen. These mergers demonstrate how a borderlands ethical stance can produce new unauthorized truths and relations outside the law and beyond national borders. However, these stories of ghostly kinship also produce a political imperative: to resurrect borderlands relations and experiences in the public sphere. Through the trope of haunting and an engagement with a borderlands ethics, "The Cariboo Cafe" and "Godoy Lives" help us understand that maintaining a Latina/o ethnic identity is not a simple act of preservation; it is an ethico-political project that challenges the United States to form new visions of democracy and new relations with Latin America in order to maintain transborder communities and families.
UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. 193 Haines Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1544. Tel: 310-794-9380; Tel: 310-825-2642; Fax: 310-206-1784; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States