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© 2020

Performances of Suffering in Latin American Migration

Heroes, Martyrs and Saints

Book

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Ana Elena Puga, Víctor M. Espinosa
    Pages 1-43
  3. Rescuers

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 45-45
    2. Ana Elena Puga, Víctor M. Espinosa
      Pages 47-88
    3. Ana Elena Puga, Víctor M. Espinosa
      Pages 89-139
  4. Mothers and Fathers

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 141-141
    2. Ana Elena Puga, Víctor M. Espinosa
      Pages 143-183
    3. Ana Elena Puga, Víctor M. Espinosa
      Pages 185-229
  5. Children and Youth

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 231-231
    2. Ana Elena Puga, Víctor M. Espinosa
      Pages 233-280
    3. Ana Elena Puga, Víctor M. Espinosa
      Pages 281-317
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 319-372

About this book

Introduction

This book questions the reliance on melodrama and spectacle in social performances and cultural productions by and about migrants from Mexico and Central America to the United States. Focusing on archetypal characters with nineteenth-century roots that recur in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries – heroic saviors, saintly mothers and struggling fathers, martyred children and rebellious youth – it shows how theater practitioners, filmmakers, visual artists, advocates, activists, journalists, and others who want to help migrants often create migrant melodramas, performances that depict their heroes as virtuous victims at the mercy of evil villains.
 
In order to gain respect for the human rights that are supposedly already theirs on paper and participate in a global market that trades in performances of suffering, migrants themselves sometimes accept the roles into which they are cast, or even cast themselves. Some express their suffering publicly, often on demand. Others find ways to twist, parody, resist, or reject migrant melodrama.   

Ana Elena Puga is an Associate Professor at the Departments of Theatre and Spanish & Portuguese at The Ohio State University. A scholar, translator, and dramaturge, she is the author of Allegory, Memory, and Testimony: Upstaging Dictatorship (Routledge 2008) and Finished from the Start and Other Plays by Juan Radrigan (Northwestern University Press 2008). 

Víctor M. Espinosa is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at The Ohio State University. A sociologist specializing in transnational migration and art, he is the author of El dilema del retorno (El Colegio de Michoacán 1999) and Martín Ramírez: Framing His Life and Art (University of Texas Press 2015).

Keywords

Trade Rights Political economy Melodrama Race Martyr Catholic church HBO Spectacle Tragedy Activism Cultural production Social performance

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Theatre and Spanish & PortugueseThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyThe Ohio State UniversityNewarkUSA

About the authors

Ana Elena Puga is an Associate Professor at the Departments of Theatre and Spanish & Portuguese at The Ohio State University. A scholar, translator, and dramaturge, she is the author of Allegory, Memory, and Testimony: Upstaging Dictatorship (Routledge 2008) and Finished from the Start and Other Plays by Juan Radrigan (Northwestern University Press 2008).


Víctor M. Espinosa is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at The Ohio State University. A sociologist specializing in transnational migration and art, he is the author of El dilema del retorno (El Colegio de Michoacán 1999) and Martín Ramírez: Framing His Life and Art (University of Texas Press 2015).

Bibliographic information