Iajki Estados Onidos = She went to the U.S. : Nahua identities in migration within contemporary Nahua literature, 1985-2014
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In this dissertation, I analyze contemporary Nahua literature from 1985 to 2014. I explore how these texts disarticulate the Mexican national narrative frame of vanquished Indians and antiquated religiosity. In this sense, they question and critique post-revolutionary Mexican identity, which champions an Occidentalist modernity where the pre-Columbian legacy just played a symbolic identitarian role. Nahua authors of the last three decades, though differing significantly in their literary styles and political strategies, complement one another in attempting to uproot the national narrative that positions them as “not present in the present” and reduces their religious and ethical perspectives to exotic folklore. They employ metaphors closely tied to their language and ceremonies in order to rewrite the official history that has marginalized Nahua worldviews. By doing so, they seek to open a space for alternative knowledges. These relate principally to a deep connectedness with natural surroundings, remembrance of ancestors’ philosophies, and an affective intelligence in which emotions are conjugated with cognition. I argue that such worldviews play a key role in a dynamic politics of identities for the empowerment and self-representation of Nahua communities within the nation-state.