A conversation with Omar Valerio-Jimenez, Santiago Vaquera-Vasquez, and Claire Fox, editors of “The Latina/o Midwest Reader.”

In The Latina/o Midwest Reader (University of Illinois Press, 2017) editors Omar Valerio-Jiménez, Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez, and Claire F. Fox bring together an exceptional cadre of scholars to dispel the notion that Latinas/os are newcomers to the Midwest. Through seventeen penetrating essays, this collection explores the trajectory of Latina/o migration, their demographic transformation of the Midwest, importance as laborers, neighbors, and community builders, as well as their struggles to obtain social and economic justice. Collectively, the essays within this anthology make several important interventions concerning the distinctiveness of the Midwest in the Latina/o experience and the effect it has had on identity formation and social activism. The presentation of the Midwest as a “border space” (i.e., contact zone) for Latina/o migrants from various parts of Latin America is a central theme that runs throughout the book. This anthology is an essential addition to Latina/o studies scholarship as it challenges the bi-coastal normativity and exclusivity of existing scholarship.

Listen to the full conversation on the New Books in Latino Studies podcast.

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