Ariana E. Vigil’s interdisciplinary study, Public Negotiations: Gender and Journalism in Contemporary US Latina/o Literature examines how the boundaries of the Latina/o public sphere are negotiated through mass media. : Focusing on a wide range of twentieth- and twenty-first-century Latina/o literary texts that feature Latina/o media figures—works by Lucha Corpi, Oscar Zeta Acosta, Cherríe Moraga, and Rubén Salazar, among others—Vigil examines the relationship between Latina/o media and Latina/o publics and reflects on how literature demonstrates a sustained interest in this relationship.
Vigil also reveals how these conversations inevitably engage with gender concerns, showing how the role of gender in this relationship is neither static nor consistent over time. Examining how these works represent such things as gendered Latina/o counter publics, how Central American–American communities are gendered in relation to other US Latina/o communities, how and why gendered expressions of Latinidad are produced and marketed, and how print media provides an important space for dissemination of diverse ideas, Public Negotiations considers the way in which gender functions in terms of both the construction and reception of a Latina/o public in a transnational space. Through thorough examination and with deep insight, Vigil shows how literature can invaluably reflect current and historical issues surrounding media and the public sphere and help us imagine new, hopefully better, possibilities.
War Echoes examines how Latina/o cultural production has engaged with U.S. militarism in the post–Viet Nam era. Analyzing literature alongside film, memoir, and activism, Ariana E. Vigil highlights the productive interplay among social, political, and cultural movements while exploring Latina/o responses to U.S. intervention in Central America and the Middle East. These responses evolved over the course of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries—from support for anti-imperial war, as seen in Alejandro Murguia's Southern Front, to the disavowal of all war articulated in works such as Demetria Martinez’s Mother Tongue and Camilo Mejia’s Road from Ar Ramadi. With a focus on how issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality intersect and are impacted by war and militarization, War Echoes illustrates how this country’s bellicose foreign policies have played an integral part in shaping U.S. Latina/o culture and identity and given rise to the creation of works that recognize how militarized violence and values, such as patriarchy, hierarchy, and obedience, are both enacted in domestic spheres and propagated abroad.