Radiophonic feminisms : the sounds and voices of contemporary Latina radio hosts in the U.S. southwest, 1990-2017
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In this dissertation, I draw on theories of gender, voice, and sound to explore Latina feminisms across contemporary popular radiophonic media at the turn of the 21st century. My investigation centers on the work and personal narratives of Latina radio hosts and podcasters located mainly on the West Coast including: Alicia Alarcón, a borderland journalist, writer, and political commentator in AM Spanish-language host who began her career in radio during the height of the 1990s anti-immigrant movement; Marlene Quinto, an immigrant, working class, bilingual and bicultural early millennial who migrated to Los Angeles from Central Mexico in the early 1990s as a child and participated in an important moment in West Coast music culture shaping the sound of a new generation of FM morning radio; three recent Latina podcasts—Super Mamás, Chicana M(other)work, and Locatora Radio—which speak from different points of Latina positionality reflecting their generational status, professions, and particular ethnic and political identities; and the YouTube-based podcasting genre of Contestaciones which are parodies composed by borderland Latinas to counter the late 2010s trend of explicit misogyny in the genre of Mexican Regional music. Through a close listening methodology, I identify the distinct ideologies that undergird each of these projects and qualify them as distinct radiophonic feminisms. I argue that their work revamps the testimonio genre as a testimonio en vivo, a live, and ongoing bearing witness to injustice that calls to immediate action by sonically interrupting gendered cultural violence. Their work is a trabajo que no se ve, an unseen labor and product that advances women’s status in society. It acts through horizontal women-organized sonic spaces of convivencia through which women (re)construct feminist epistemologies.