From Salsa and Bilingual Poetry to AOC: The Culture and Politics of Latinx Recognition

Latinx continue to be perceived in the media and politics through the schematic of the threat/promise binary, in which they are portrayed alternately as menacing figures and docile consumers. This talk will examine the Latinx cultural production in the modern and postmodern eras–as well as an emerging new politics of recognition–as products of hybrid identities. Latinx strategies in music, bilingual poetry, and intersectional politics are evolving in ways that are emblematic of our presence in the U.S., with the potential of transcending nationalist rivalries and racial and gender binaries. In art, media and culture, Latinx have pioneered ways of navigating the crisis of the de-centering of the Western self. I will argue that these identities are adaptive mechanisms that can sometimes have the effect of obscuring Latinx in media, cultural and political representation, but that at the same time have a futurist promise that can help forge a belonging-on-our-own-terms.

Ed Morales
Author of Latinx: The New Force in American Politics and Culture and lecturer at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race