Marisel C. MorenoOct 27, 2023
Undocumented Migration in Hispanophone Caribbean and Latinx Literature and Art
University of Texas Press 2022
Debates over the undocumented migration of Latin Americans invariably focus on the southern US border, but most migrants never cross that arbitrary line. Instead, many travel, via water, among the Caribbean islands. The first study to examine literary and artistic representations of undocumented migration within the Hispanophone Caribbean, Crossing Waters: Undocumented Migration in Hispanophone Caribbean and Latinx Literature and Art (U Texas Press, 2022) relates a journey that remains silenced and largely unknown.
Analyzing works by novelists, short-story writers, poets, and visual artists replete with references to drowning and echoes of the Middle Passage, Marisel Moreno shines a spotlight on the plight that these migrants face. In some cases, Puerto Rico takes on a new role as a stepping-stone to the continental United States and the society migrants will join there. Meanwhile the land border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the only terrestrial border in the Hispanophone Caribbean, emerges as a complex space within this cartography of borders. And while the Border Patrol occupies US headlines, the Coast Guard occupies the nightmares of refugees.
An untold story filled with beauty, possibility, and sorrow, Crossing Waters encourages us to rethink the geography and experience of undocumented migration and the role that the Caribbean archipelago plays as a border zone.
Marisel C. Moreno is the Rev. John O'Brien Associate Professor in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of Family Matters: Puerto Rican Women Authors on the Island and the Mainland.
Reighan Gillam is an Associate Professor in the Department of Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies at Dartmouth College. Her research examines the ways in which Afro-Brazilian media producers foment anti-racist visual politics through their image creation. She is the author of Visualizing Black Lives: Ownership and Control in Afro-Brazilian Media (University of Illinois Press).