Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas and Mérida M. Rúa, “Critical Dialogues in Latinx Studies: A Reader” (NYU Press, 2021)

Latinx Studies has long been overdue for a revamp – a different orientation to the questions with which we concern ourselves. Critical Dialogues in Latinx Studies: A Reader (New York University Press, 2021) is a leap toward this direction by offering the field nine distinct díalogos around which various established and junior scholars from different disciplines present their own writings to these conversations. Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas and Mérida M. Rúa, the co-editors of the anthology, ground the book in the work of Jesús Colón’s A Puerto Rican in New York and Other Sketches. “By opening this anthology with Jesús Colón we aim to highlight the role that history, memoir, and even autobiographical fiction invariably play in most empirically sound and theoretically sophisticated Latinx humanistic social sciences,” Ramos-Zayas and Rúa write (3). From this vantage point, they pry open the field of Latinx Studies and expose its expansiveness and depth by highlighting its methodological innovation, intersectional critique, various geopolitical scales that decenter the U.S. nation-state, and critical takes on seemingly established paradigms.

In this New Books Latino Studies interview, we focus on díalogos numbers 1, 2, 8, and 9. These four critical dialogues offer listeners only a glimpse into the 39 articles that make up the anthology.

Over 538 pages, 39 articles, and 9 dialogues, Critical Dialogues in Latinx Studies provides different ways to access, define, disrupt, and embody Latinidades. Scholars, teachers, and anyone interested in Latino Studies will find something of interest in the anthology.

Jonathan Cortez is currently the 2021-2023 César Chávez Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies at Dartmouth College. You can follow Jonathan on Twitter @joncortz

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