Examines the interrelationships of Black, Latinx, and mestizx people through their literature, film, and performance.

Table of contents

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations                        
Introduction: Geographies of Relation
Chapter 1: Toña La Negra’s Performance of Mexicanidad and Black Diaspora Consciousness
Chapter 2: Cultivating Consciousness of Race and Gender in the Chicanx and Mexican Borderlands
Chapter 3: An East Side, Downtown, and Greenwich Village Story: Puerto Rican and African American Diaspora Discoveries in New York City
Chapter 4: Centering Peru’s Black Diaspora While Querying Dominant Cultures in the U.S.-Peru Borderlands
Chapter 5: Black Cuban Life in Movements and Fictions of Social Change
“The Interdependency of Different Strengths”


Geographies of Relation demonstrates how examining texts created throughout the Americas about diaspora and borderlands offers a lens to think about representations of race, ethnicity, and gender. Theresa Delgadillo crosses interdisciplinary and canonical borders to investigate the interrelationships of African-descended, Latinx and mestizx peoples through an analysis of Latin American, Latinx, and African American literature, film, and performance.
Not only does Delgadillo offer a rare extended analysis of Black Latinidades in Chicanx literature and theory, but she also considers over a century’s worth of literary, cinematic, and performative texts to support her argument about the significance of these cultural sites and overlaps. Chapters illuminate the significance of Toña La Negra in the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, reconsider feminist theorist’s Gloria Anzaldúa offerings to revise exclusionary Latin American ideologies of mestizaje, unpack encounters between African Americans and Black Puerto Ricans in texts about twentieth-century New York, explore the expression of the African diaspora in colonial and contemporary Peru through literature and performance, and revisit the centrality of Black power in ending colonialism in various narratives. Thus, Geographies of Relation demonstrates the long histories of diaspora networks and exchanges across the Americas as well as the interrelationships among Indigenous, mestizx, Chicanx, and Latinx peoples. It offers a compelling argument that geographies of relation are as significant as national frameworks at structuring cultural formation and change in this hemisphere. 

Theresa Delgadillo is a Vilas Distinguished Professor of English and Chican@/Latin@ Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"Delgadillo’s Geographies of Relation is a marvelous, timely study that will have a foundational impact on the field of Latinx Studies. It offers a compelling and significant cultural analysis of Afro/Latinx creativity and expressive forms and illustrates their transformative importance. Scholars of every discipline will find Geographies of Relation helpful and inspiring."

—Mary Pat Brady, Author of Scales of Captivity: Racial Capitalism and the Latinx Child.

- Mary Pat Brady

"Geographies of Relation amplifies mostly silenced histories and dialogues, including hemispheric investments in anti-Blackness within discussions of mestizaje among diaspora and borderlands subjects. This book makes visible the historic investments among diaspora and borderlands subjects that transform anti-Blackness into acts of solidarity and contributes to the study of literature, film, music, and performance that circulate within and across the Americas."

—Michelle Habell-Pallan, Author of Loca Motion: The Travels of Chicana and Latina Popular Culture

- Michelle Habell-Pallan