Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

A Return to Roots: How Latinx Literature Uses Religion to Recover Personal Identity

Presenter Information

Melissa LeavittFollow

Class

Article

Graduation Year

2017

College

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Department

Languages, Philosophy and Communication Studies Department

Faculty Mentor

Crescencio López-González

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

The paradox of the American “melting pot” ideology, where immigrants are both encouraged to contribute to the national identity and assimilate into their local communities, continues to fuel debate and guide national policy. The premise of this research is to analyze how the collision of Anglo and Latino cultures creates a social atmosphere wherein those who are members of both communities attempt to regain their lost personal narratives by using religion to hail back to their cultural origins. This research will examine how Latinx literature portrays religion in the search for personal identity in the United States, and how Latinx authors incorporated modern, traditional, and indigenous beliefs to empower their protagonists to redefine themselves. This study will analyze the trajectory of Latinx reactions to religion by examining literary works over a span of three decades, such as … and the Earth did not devour him by Tomás Rivera (1971), Bless Me, Última by Rudolfo Anaya (1972), Going Under by Virgil Suárez (1996), Soledad: A Novel by Angie Cruz (2002), and Chango’s Fire by Ernesto Quiñonez (2005). These literary narratives are drawn from different Latinx ethnic minorities, giving a wide range of perspectives on how indigenous traditions and religion can transcend to modern times. By evaluating these narratives, the researcher seeks to understand the dialectical relationship between religion and the search for identity and independence. This comparative study will examine how Latinx authors use religion to respond to the external, powerful stimuli that immigrant families encounter in the United States, such as laissez-faire capitalism and conflicting moral values.

Location

North Atrium

Start Date

4-13-2017 12:00 PM

End Date

4-13-2017 1:15 PM

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Apr 13th, 12:00 PM Apr 13th, 1:15 PM

A Return to Roots: How Latinx Literature Uses Religion to Recover Personal Identity

North Atrium

The paradox of the American “melting pot” ideology, where immigrants are both encouraged to contribute to the national identity and assimilate into their local communities, continues to fuel debate and guide national policy. The premise of this research is to analyze how the collision of Anglo and Latino cultures creates a social atmosphere wherein those who are members of both communities attempt to regain their lost personal narratives by using religion to hail back to their cultural origins. This research will examine how Latinx literature portrays religion in the search for personal identity in the United States, and how Latinx authors incorporated modern, traditional, and indigenous beliefs to empower their protagonists to redefine themselves. This study will analyze the trajectory of Latinx reactions to religion by examining literary works over a span of three decades, such as … and the Earth did not devour him by Tomás Rivera (1971), Bless Me, Última by Rudolfo Anaya (1972), Going Under by Virgil Suárez (1996), Soledad: A Novel by Angie Cruz (2002), and Chango’s Fire by Ernesto Quiñonez (2005). These literary narratives are drawn from different Latinx ethnic minorities, giving a wide range of perspectives on how indigenous traditions and religion can transcend to modern times. By evaluating these narratives, the researcher seeks to understand the dialectical relationship between religion and the search for identity and independence. This comparative study will examine how Latinx authors use religion to respond to the external, powerful stimuli that immigrant families encounter in the United States, such as laissez-faire capitalism and conflicting moral values.