Accessible Citizenships

Disability, Nation, and the Cultural Politics of Greater Mexico

Julie Avril Minich
Book Cover

PB: $28.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1070-2
Publication: Dec 13

HC: $86.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-1069-6
Publication: Dec 13

Ebook: $28.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1071-9

240 pages
5.5 x 8.5

How disability provides a new perspective on our understanding of the nation and the citizen


A title in the American Literatures Initiative.

Accessible Citizenships examines Chicana/o cultural representations that conceptualize political community through images of disability. Working against the assumption that disability is a metaphor for social decay or political crisis, Julie Avril Minich analyzes literature, film, and visual art post-1980 in which representations of nonnormative bodies work to expand our understanding of what it means to belong to a political community.

Minich shows how queer writers like Arturo Islas and Cherríe Moraga have reconceptualized Chicano nationalism through disability images. She further addresses how the U.S.-Mexico border and disabled bodies restrict freedom and movement. Finally, she confronts the changing role of the nation-state in the face of neoliberalism as depicted in novels by Ana Castillo and Cecile Pineda.

Accessible Citizenships illustrates how these works gesture toward less exclusionary forms of citizenship and nationalism. Minich boldly argues that the corporeal images used to depict national belonging have important consequences for how the rights and benefits of citizenship are understood and distributed.

Table of Contents

Accessibility and Nationalism: An Introduction

Part I: The Body Politic of Aztlán
1. Enabling Aztlán: Arturo Islas Jr. and Chicano Cultural Nationalis
2. “My Country Was Not Like That”: Cherríe Moraga, Felicia Luna Lemus, and National Failure

Part II: Immobilizing the Border
3. “So Much Life in the Still Waters”: Alex Espinoza and the Ideology of Ability in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands
4. No Nation for Old Men? Racialized Aging and Border-Crossing Narratives by Guillermo Arriaga, Tommy Lee Jones, and Oscar Casares

Part III: Beyond Citizenship
5. Overcoming the Nation: Ana Castillo, Cecile Pineda, and the Stakes of Disability Identity

Works Cited

About the Author(s)

Julie Avril Minich is Assistant Professor of English, Mexican American Studies, and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.