Disrupting colonial debates : Puerto Rican subjectivities in cultural essays
Esteves Wolff, Cristina
AdvisorRodríguez Castro, María Elena.
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My thesis explores Puerto Rican cultural and political subjectivities in essays by critics Arcadio Díaz Quiñones, Rubén Ríos Ávila, and Frances Negrón Muntaner as discursive spaces of disruption, exposing the island's lived experience as a two-pronged process of negotiations: one with power and one with precariousness. My analysis considers methods of resistance condensed in particular allocutions - la brega, queemess, andjaibería - used by a subject or community to negotiate its relationship to political, economic, cultural, and social paradigms dictated by a colonial status quo as a vehicle for surviving and prospering within the confines of an imperial world-system. I situate the tension between hegemonic narratives propagated by different interests within Puerto Rican society and subsequent disruptive counter and altemative narratives as the locus of a convoluted identity that allows for shifting loyalties. Finally, these essays embody a vital dialogue between generations and sites of enunciation: the Island and its diaspora.