Paradigm In Hispanic American Literature

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Developing My Argument
(this is part of what appears in the Table of Contents as: Introduction: The Hispanic American
Paradigm in Contemporary Women’s Narratives & Theories, Methods, and Tools for Literary
Analysis)
Hispanic American literature is a field that has spectacularly expanded since its emergence as a new literature during the 1960s. The popularization and establishment of the Latino/a canon came about partly due to the growing demographics of Hispanics in America and was brought to legitimation as an academic field under the protection of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s (Kanellos 1994: 7). In the past few decades, not only has the Hispanic population in the U.S. grown remarkably but it has also expanded its inherent diversity.
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Starting as a marginalized cultural practice during the times of American discovery, Hispanic American literature is thus a cultural outcome of colonial expansion and imperialism as well as indigenous cultures and mixed linguistic aesthetics. Its historical presence can be traced back to the sixteenth century when the first Spanish explorers arrived to the New World despite the fact that its cultural significance is still under question. This idiosyncrasy of Hispanic literature has been also shaped by the multicultural and multilingual history of America as well as “the legacy of the English language” and “the complex and hierarchical relations between the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean, which have led many Latino writers to focus on social and political themes” (West-Durán 2004: 19). Despite this long history of cultural conflict and contact, Hispanics as an ethnic composite of Americanness have not yet been utilized as an American motif. The whitewashed landscape has blurred their conspicuousness on the grounds of racist discourse and negative stereotypes as well as the American hegemonic fear of un-mapping the Southwestern border. Hispanics —used as an ethnonym— is a term that differs from a racial definition due to the Hispanic population in America being inherently of mixed race and their association with Central and South American nations. However, in sociopolitical terms, Hispanics are more than often not only racially categorized as products of miscegenation but also as invisible due to their brownness —-a physiognomic feature that blurs the black-and- white boundaries that traditionally define racial stratification in America. The American literary canon was gradually infused with the Latino colors and after decades of exclusionary
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