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Virtual Book Displays

This guide highlights books from the library's collection on different timely themes.

Latinx Heritage Month

In search of belonging : Latinas, media, and citizenship

Latina/os are the fastest and youngest growing group in the USA, and Spanish- and English-language media industries are creating content specifically to capture bilingual second and third generation Latina/o audiences. In particular, transnational media corporations are producing and marketing mainstream and niche media to women and youth, both considered lucrative segments of the audience. This project provides in-depth ethnographic analysis of how Latina/o audiences engage with both mainstream and Spanish-language media. It asks: How do Latina/o audiences, particularly women, make sense of and engage with Latina/o-oriented media? Ethnographic material provides a rare glimpse into how Latina audiences perceive mediated representations of Latinas in mainstream and Spanish-language media. At the heart of the study are a diverse group of Latinas in Chicago who vary in ethnicity, class, age, and sexual orientation.

Shaming into brown : somatic transactions of race in Latina/o literature

Anchored by two psychoanalytic theories, bioenergetic analysis developed by Alexander Lowen and affect theory put forth by Silvan Tomkins, Fetta examines Latinx fiction to draw attention to the cultural role of the intelligent, emotional, and communicative body--the soma--in relation to shame. She argues that we bring the soma--the physical, emotive, and social register of our subjectivity--to the text as we do to our lives,proposing that the power of racialization operates at the level of somatic expression and reception through habituated, socially cued behaviors that are not readily subject to intentional control.

My family divided : one girl's journey of home, loss, and hope

Before landing a spot on the megahit Netflix show Orange is the New Black; before wow-ing audiences as Lina on Jane the Virgin; and before her incredible activism and work on immigration reform, Diane Guerrero was a young girl living in Boston. One day, while Guerrero was at school, her undocumented immigrant parents were taken from their home, detained, and deported. Guerrero's life, which had been full of the support of a loving family, was turned upside down.

Reflective of the experiences of millions of undocumented immigrant families in the United States, Guerrero's story in My Family Divided, written with Erica Moroz, is at once heartbreaking and hopeful.

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family.
But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role.
Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out
every possible way Julia has failed.
But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister’s story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?

MeXicana fashions : politics, self-adornment, and identity construction

Collecting the perspectives of scholars who reflect on their own relationships to particular garments, analyze the politics of dress, and examine the role of consumerism and entrepreneurialism in the production of creating and selling a style, meXicana Fashions examines and searches for meaning in these visible, performative aspects of identity.Focusing primarily on Chicanas but also considering trends connected to other Latin American communities, the authors highlight specific constituencies that are defined by region ("Tejana style," "L.A. style"), age group ("homie," "chola"), and social class (marked by haute couture labels such as Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta). The essays acknowledge the complex layers of these styles, which are not mutually exclusive but instead reflect a range of intersections in occupation, origin, personality, sexuality, and fads. Other elements include urban indigenous fashion shows, the shifting quinceañera market, "walking altars" on the Days of the Dead, plus-size clothing, huipiles in the workplace, and dressing in drag. Together, these chapters illuminate the full array of messages woven into a vibrant social fabric.

The taco truck : how Mexican street food is transforming the American city

"Icons of Mexican cultural identity and America's melting pot ideal, taco trucks have transformed cityscapes from coast to coast. The taco truck radiates Mexican culture within non-Mexican spaces with a presence--sometimes desired, sometimes resented--that turns a public street corner into a bustling business. Drawing on interviews with taco truck workers and his own skills as a geographer, Robert Lemon illuminates new truths about foodways, community, and the unexpected places where ethnicity, class, and culture meet. Lemon focuses on the Bay Area, Sacramento, and Columbus, Ohio, to show how the arrival of taco trucks challenge preconceived ideas of urban planning even as cities use them to reinvent whole neighborhoods. As Lemon charts the relationships between food practices and city spaces, he uncovers the many ways residents and politicians alike contest, celebrate, and influence not only where your favorite truck parks, but what's on the menu"

¡Sí, ella puede! : the rhetorical legacy of Dolores Huerta and the United Farm Workers

Since the 1950s, Latina activist Dolores Huerta has been a fervent leader and organizer in the struggle for farmworkers' rights within the Latina/o community. A cofounder of the United Farm Workers union in the 1960s alongside César Chávez, Huerta was a union vice president for nearly four decades before starting her own foundation in the early 2000s. She continues to act as a dynamic speaker, passionate lobbyist, and dedicated figure for social and political change, but her crucial contributions and commanding presence have often been overshadowed by those of Chávez and other leaders in the Chicana/o movement. In this new study, Stacey K. Sowards closely examines Huerta's rhetorical skills both in and out of the public eye and defines Huerta's vital place within Chicana/o history. Referencing the theoretical works of Pierre Bourdieu, Chela Sandoval, Gloria Anzaldúa, and others, Sowards closely analyzes Huerta's speeches, letters, and interviews. She shows how Huerta navigates the complex intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, language, and class through the myriad challenges faced by women activists of color. Sowards's approach to studying Huerta's rhetorical influence offers a unique perspective for understanding the transformative relationship between agency and social justice.

Queer brown voices : personal narratives of Latina/o LGBT activism

"Essays chronicling the experiences of fourteen Latina/o LGBT activists present a new perspective on the hitherto-marginalized history of their work in the last three decades of the twentieth century."

Latinos in New York: communities in transition

Latinos in New York: Communities in Transition, second edition, is the most comprehensive reader available on the experience of New York City's diverse Latino population. The essays in Part I examine the historical and sociocultural context of Latinos in New York. Part II looks at the diversity comprising Latino New York. Contributors focus on specific national origin groups, including Ecuadorians, Colombians, and Central Americans, and examine the factors that prompted emigration from the country of origin, the socioeconomic status of the emigrants, the extent of transnational ties with the home country, and the immigrants' interaction with other Latino groups in New York. Essays in Part III focus on politics and policy issues affecting New York's Latinos. The book brings together leading social analysts and community advocates on the Latino experience to address issues that have been largely neglected in the literature on New York City. These include the role of race, culture and identity, health, the criminal justice system, the media, and higher education, subjects that require greater attention both from academic as well as policy perspectives.

Chica lit : popular Latina fiction and Americanization in the twenty-first century

In Chica Lit: Popular Latina Fiction and Americanization in the Twenty-First Century, Tace Hedrick illuminates how discourses of Americanization, ethnicity, gender, class, and commodification shape the genre of "chica lit," popular fiction written by Latina authors with Latina characters. She argues that chica lit is produced and marketed in the same ways as contemporary romance and chick lit fiction, and aimed at an audience of twenty- to thirty-something upwardly mobile Latina readers. Its stories about young women's ethnic class mobility and gendered romantic success tend to celebrate twenty-first century neoliberal narratives about Americanization, hard work, and individual success. However, Hedrick emphasizes, its focus on Latina characters necessarily inflects this celebratory mode: the elusiveness of meaning in its use of the very term "Latina" empties out the differences among and between Latina/o and Chicano/a groups in the United States. Of necessity, chica lit also struggles with questions about the actual social and economic "place" of Latinas and Chicanas in this same neoliberal landscape; these questions unsettle its reliance on the tried-and-true formulas of chick lit and romance writing. Looking at chica lit's market-driven representations of difference, poverty, and Americanization, Hedrick shows how this writing functions within the larger arena of struggles over popular representation of Latinas and Chicanas.

Midnight in Mexico : a reporter's journey through a country's descent into darkness

Since 2006, more than seventy thousand people have been killed in the Mexican drug war. In a country where the powerful are rarely scrutinized, noted Mexican American journalist Alfredo Corchado continues to report on government corruption, murders in Juarez, and the ruthless drug cartels of Mexico. In 2007, Corchado received a tip that he could be their next target. Rather than leave his country, Corchado went out into the Mexican countryside to investigate the threat. As he frantically contacted his sources, Corchado suspected the threat was his punishment for returning to Mexico against his mother's wishes--a curse. His parents had fled north and raised their children in California, but Corchado returned as a journalist in 1994, convinced that Mexico would one day overcome its pervasive corruption. But in this land of extremes, the gap of inequality--and injustice--remains wide. Even after the 2000 election put Mexico's opposition party in power for the first time, the long-awaited defeat created a vacuum of power. The cartels went to war with one another in the mid-2000s, while President Felipe Calderón tried in vain to stop the bloodshed. Meanwhile, the work Corchado lives for could kill him, but he's not ready to leave Mexico--not yet, maybe never.

My beloved world

"An instant American icon--the first Hispanic on the U.S. Supreme Court--tells the story of her life before becoming a judge in an inspiring, surprisingly personal memoir. With startling candor and intimacy, Sonia Sotomayor recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a progress that is testament to her extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself. She writes of her precarious childhood and the refuge she took with her passionately spirited paternal grandmother. She describes her resolve as a young girl to become a lawyer, and how she made this dream become reality: valedictorian of her high school class, summa cum laude at Princeton, Yale Law, prosecutor in the Manhattan D.A.'s office, private practice, federal district judge before the age of forty. She writes about her deeply valued mentors, about her failed marriage, about her cherished family of friends. Through her still-astonished eyes, America's infinite possibilities are envisioned anew in this warm and honest book, destined to become a classic of self-discovery and self-invention, alongside Barack Obama's Dreams from My Father."

Becoming Maria : love and chaos in the South Bronx

"Pura Belpre Honor winner for The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano and one of America's most influential Hispanics--'Maria' on Sesame Street--delivers a beautifully wrought coming-of-age memoir. Set in the 1950s in the Bronx, this is the story of a girl with a dream. Emmy award-winning actress and writer Sonia Manzano plunges us into the daily lives of a Latino family that is loving--and troubled. This is Sonia's own story rendered with an unforgettable narrative power. When readers meet young Sonia, she is a child living amidst the squalor of a boisterous home that is filled with noisy relatives and nosy neighbors. Each day she is glued to the TV screen that blots out the painful realities of her existence and also illuminates the possibilities that lie ahead. But--click!--when the TV goes off, Sonia is taken back to real-life--the cramped, colorful world of her neighborhood and an alcoholic father. But it is Sonia's dream of becoming an actress that keeps her afloat among the turbulence of her life and times. Spiced with culture, heartache, and humor, this memoir paints a lasting portrait of a girl's resilience as she grows up to become an inspiration to millions"