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A Mexican State of Mind: New York City and the New Borderlands of Culture (Global Media and Race)

A Mexican State of Mind: New York City and the New Borderlands of Culture (Global Media and Race)

Previous price: $36.95 Current price: $33.95
Publication Date: March 13th, 2020
Rutgers University Press
Special Order - Subject to Availability


A Mexican State of Mind: New York City and the New Borderlands of Culture explores the cultural and creative lives of the largely young undocumented Mexican population in New York City since September 11, 2001. Inspired by a dialogue between the landmark works of Paul Gilroy and Gloria Anzaldúa, it develops a new analytic framework, the Atlantic Borderlands, which bridges Mexican diasporic experiences in New York City and the black diaspora, not as a comparison but in recognition that colonialism, interracial and interethnic contact through trade, migration, and slavery are connected via capitalist economies and technological developments. This book is based on ten years of fieldwork in  New York City, with members of  a vibrant community of young Mexican migrants who coexist and interact with people from all over the world. It focuses on youth culture including hip hop, graffiti, muralism, labor activism, arts entrepreneurship and collective making.

About the Author

MELISSA CASTILLO PLANAS is an assistant professor of English at Lehman College. She is editor of the anthology, ¡Manteca!: An Anthology of Afro-Latin@ Poets and co-editor of La Verdad: An International Dialogue on Hip Hop Latinidades. 

Praise for A Mexican State of Mind: New York City and the New Borderlands of Culture (Global Media and Race)

“A Mexican State of Mind presents a refreshing look into the creative voices emerging from Mexican New York where these unique experiences are shaping our new imaginaries of young Mexican immigrants.”
— José Higuera López

"This is the book we have been waiting to fully understand the textured lives of the fastest growing group at the heart of New York City’s Latinization and exactly what we need to expand notions of art, creativity and creative work.  Castillo-Planas challenges the reduction of migrants to laborers and workers in the national imaginary by exploring their creative lives, dreams and aspirations and their counterculture and artistic endeavors that are not only shaping Mexican art worlds, but also those of New York City and beyond.  The result is a beautiful and inspiring book about the generative power of art in the lives of Mexicans, migrants, Latinxs and all New Yorkers."
— Arlene Dávila

"A MexicanState of Mind is the most innovative, and one of the most brilliant books on immigration I have read in the last ten years. Based on field work and personal relationships with young Mexican musicians and visual artists, buttressed by meticulous research on Mexican migration to the US, the author replaces common images of Mexican immigrants as passive, silent, and easily victimized with powerful portraits of Mexican youth in New York City as makers of their own history who transform challenging circumstances and create vibrant spaces through the arts.  Like the greatest works in my own field, African American History, A Mexican State of Mind rescues the agency of a marginalized and stigmatized group by allowing their voices to be heard and the institutions they create, some of them underground, to be seen and understood."
— Mark Naison

"Combatting the Erasure of Mexican Immigrants in New York," by Beth Harpaz

"A Mexican State of Mind is a book for enthusiasts of Mexican studies, Latinx studies, as well as migration studies. The book is also of value to cultural historians, scholars of music and the visual arts."
— Gotham Center Blog