Frederick Luis Aldama, "Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities" (U Arizona Press, 2020)


An early wave of research helped make visible the complex dynamics of sexuality and gender norms in Latino life, but a new generation of scholars is bringing renewed energy and curiosity to this field of inquiry. In this episode we sit down with Frederick Luis Aldama, Distinguished University Professor at the Ohio State University and co-editor of Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities (University of Arizona Press), to discuss some of the cutting-edge research in this new edited volume.

This rich collection of work from eighteen contributors approaches the topic of masculinities from a diversity of perspectives and methodologies. With special emphasis on the plurality of Latinx masculinities, the essays reveal the divergent manifestations of masculinity across a broad spectrum including politics, social movements, literature, media, popular culture, personal experience, and other analytical angles. The pernicious effect of stereotypes and toxic Latinx masculinity is laid bare throughout the text in chapters that challenge the derogatory performances and reification of machismo in mainstream U.S. culture and society.

At the same time, other essays look to how Latinx masculinities are being reclaimed and remade. Rejecting the inherited legacy of colonial thinking and heteronormative labels, authors outline the creation of new masculinities, new ways of being and coexisting. In this way, Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities shows that masculinities are not simply violent and traumatic, but also healing and affirming.

Jaime Sánchez, Jr. is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of History at Princeton University and a scholar of U.S. politics and Latino studies. He is currently writing an institutional history of the Democratic National Committee and partisan coalition politics in the twentieth century. You can follow him on Twitter @Jaime_SanchezJr.

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