The Latinx Files: Race, Migration, and Space Aliens

Rutgers University Press
Forthcoming

            In science fiction and popular culture, Latinxs and Latinx immigrants are often correlated with invading space aliens. At times serious, at other times a joke, this correlation is typically meant in a derogatory way to portray Latinxs as foreign and threatening the nation. The Latinx Archive: Race, Migration, and Space Aliens traces how Latinx science fiction writers are reclaiming the space alien from its xenophobic legacy in science fiction. This book argues that the space alien is a vital Latinx figure which is preserving Latinx cultures by activating the myriad possible constructions of the space alien to represent race and migration. The study demonstrates that Latinx writers have created new space aliens that counteract destructive science fiction narratives and express the concerns of Latinx communities. The works discussed in this book often explicitly reject the derogatory correlation of the space alien and Latinxs, while at other times, they contain space aliens that function primarily as a source of either enlightenment or the destruction of Latinx communities. Among the texts examined are the science fiction stories of Junot Díaz, Ernest Hogan, and Tato Laviera, Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera, and the political cartoons of Lalo Alcaraz. Ultimately, the book shows that the space alien has long been significant to Latinx communities and that it has great potential for future writers and artists.