Book Reviews 405 Unspeakable Violence: Remapping US and Mexican National Imaginaries. By Nicole M. Guidotti-Hernández. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011. 400 pages, $25.95. Reviewed by Joshuah O'Brien West Texas A&M University, Canyon Addressing violence as "an ongoing social process of differentiation for racialized, sexualized, gendered subjects in the US borderlands in the nineteenth century and early twentieth," Unspeakable Violence seeks to challenge the celebratory readings of resistance narratives generally attributed to mestizaje, indigenismo, and hybridity (3). Nicole Guidotti-Hernández employs a transnational feminist framework to critique an uncritical romanticized Chicano nationalism, "which casts Chicano identity as indigenous and masculinist" and does not allow for an understanding of "what compelled Native Americans, Anglos, and Mexicans to participate in violence against others of their own race in the making of borderlands cultures" (10, 23). Unspeakable Violence comprises five chapters, which are broken into two sections. The first section relates three episodes of unspoken borderland violence through use of historiography, close textual analysis, and feminist and cultural theory. The first episode investigates the 1851 lynching of a Mexican woman, referred to as Josefa and/or Juanita in official testimonies and newspaper articles, in Downieville, California. Guidotti-Hernández refers to her as Josefa/Juanita as
Western American Literature – The Western Literature Association
Published: Feb 20, 2013
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