Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
De La Garza, Armida
Latino/a USA Transnational Identities Conference
Conference on Latinos in the US held in Denmark
University of Southern Denmark, Odense
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
Chicano Identity and Discourses of Supplementarity on Film How are national identities transformed? If they are mostly narratives of belonging to a community of history and destiny people subscribe, a provisional answer might be found through the analysis of the changes made to such narratives, always mediated by social and historical processes. As put by Foucault: “The successes of history belong to those who are capable of seizing [the] rules, to replace those who had used them, to disguise themselves so as to…invert their meaning, and redirect them against those who had initially imposed them.” (Foucault, 1991: 86) With these considerations in mind, I would argue here that such a change took place in Mexican narratives of belonging during the 1990s, when the North American Free Trade Agreement was first negotiated. The main change focused on narratives of migration, drastically changing the status of Mexican migrants to the US and their descendents, formerly derided as ‘pochos’, presenting them as model citizens instead, with then President Vicente Fox encouraging all Mexicans to, like them, ‘dream the American dream’. My argument then is that, following Derrida, the role of the migrant became that of a supplement, which is, discursively, at the same time external to and part of a given unit, standing for and allowing deeper transformations in the whole discourse of bilateral relations and national identity more generally. In the paper I use this concept of the supplement to discuss changing representations of Chicanos and Mexican immigrants to the US on Mexican cinema, and to assess the extent that they have actually succeeded in reframing the discourse on national identity.
University of Nottingham Ningbo