cover of book

The Latinx Files: Race, Migration, and Space Aliens
by Matthew David Goodwin
foreword by Frederick Luis Aldama
Rutgers University Press, 2021
eISBN: 978-1-9788-1514-8 | Cloth: 978-1-9788-1511-7 | Paper: 978-1-9788-1510-0

In science fiction and popular culture, Latinxs and Latinx immigrants are often correlated with invading space aliens. At times serious, at other times a farce, this correlation is typically meant in a derogatory way to portray Latinxs as foreign and threatening the nation. In The Latinx Files, Matthew David Goodwin traces how Latinx science fiction writers are reclaiming the space alien from its xenophobic legacy in the science fiction genre. The book argues that the space alien is a vital Latinx figure which is preserving Latinx cultures by activating the myriad possible constructions of the space alien to represent race and migration in the popular imagination. The works discussed in this book, including those of Gloria Anzaldúa, Junot Diaz, Lalo Alcaraz, and many others, often explicitly reject the derogatory correlation of the space alien and Latinxs, while at other times, they contain space aliens that function as a source of either enlightenment or horror for Latinx communities. Throughout this nuanced analysis, The Latinx Files demonstrates how the character of the space alien has been significant to Latinx communities and has great potential for future writers and artists.
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