Making places/haciendo lugares: Generational traumas in contemporary Cuban-American literature

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Lindsey Tucker - Committee Chair


Through a critical examination of a number of artistic, musical, and literary productions created by the children of Cuban exiles, this project works towards defining a number of useful frameworks with which to discuss second-generation Cuban-American texts. Via the cultural critiques of exile produced by theorists such as Bhabha, Appadurai, Seyhan, and Rushdie, the work analyzes the social and political implications of works produced by Cristina Garcia, Roberto G. Fernandez, Virgil Suarez, Carmelita Tropicana, Albita Rodriguez and several other artists all engaged in defining a cultural identity outside of the geographical territory of their childhood and their familial history. The overall project reveals a generational solidarity of much greater complexity than the common assumptions of assimilation and acculturation previously assigned to this generation's cultural output. The art produced by this particular generation, born either wholly outside of Cuban territory or children at the time of their departure, considers the necessity of interrogating parental as well as grandparental narratives as they settle on the task of creating independent narratives of identity. Primarily, by accessing memories, childhood stories, tales of pre-Revolutionary Cuba, traumatic narratives of departure, and accounts of social (mal)adjustments, these texts offer a number of viable ways in which to produce and ultimately locate a multi-faceted cultural identity despite the potentially alienating condition known as exile.


American Studies; Literature, Caribbean; Literature, American

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