Chapter 34. Borderlands: Ethnicity, Multiculturalism, and Hybridity

  1. Paul Lauter president
  1. Ana Maria Manzanas Associate professor1 and
  2. Jesús Benito Sánchez2

Published Online: 16 MAR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444320626.ch34

A Companion to American Literature and Culture

A Companion to American Literature and Culture

How to Cite

Maria Manzanas, A. and Sánchez, J. B. (2010) Borderlands: Ethnicity, Multiculturalism, and Hybridity, in A Companion to American Literature and Culture (ed P. Lauter), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444320626.ch34

Editor Information

  1. Trinity College (Hartford), UK

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Salamanca, Spain

  2. 2

    University of Valladolid, Spain

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 MAR 2010
  2. Published Print: 26 MAR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780631208921

Online ISBN: 9781444320626



  • borderlands - ethnicity, multiculturalism and hybridity;
  • from frontier to borderlands - notions of identity and process, with exchanges and borrowings taking place across the line;
  • Mestizaje, or hybridity - borderlands representing, highlighting inevitable negotiations and frictions;
  • borderland paradigm, drawing attention to issue of creation of meanings across multiple borders of postmodern and postnationalist America;
  • “spatial historicity,” to use Rosaura Sánchez's words - the border is construed, maintained and policed by state power;
  • from Américo Paredes to Gloria Anzaldúa - tradition of oppositional thinking finding in Américo Paredes, a unique and articulate representative in Chicano criticism;
  • border story of racial and economic conflict - on Mexican-American side in folk art form of the corrido, conflating history and art;
  • Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me, Ultima - continuation of the community relying on protagonist's apprenticeship as a writer;
  • Gloria Anzaldúa, the challenge of internal and external borders of the nation - returning to Chicano criticism;
  • Helena Maria Viramontes - compelling illustration of decentered, postmodern and urban border in Viramontes's “The Cariboo Café”


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • I. From Frontier to Borderlands

  • II. From Américo Paredes to Gloria Anzaldúa

  • Aztlán/Borderlands

  • Tomás Rivera, Tierra

  • Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me, Ultima

  • Rolando Hinojosa

  • Nuyoricans

  • Helena Maria Viramontes

  • Gloria Anzaldúa

  • III. What are the Borders of Borderlands?

  • References and Further Reading