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K-State Today

December 7, 2015



Valenzuela publishes in Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letr as y Cambio Social

By Norma A. Valenzuela

Norma A. Valenzuela, visiting instructor in American ethnic studies, published an article in Chicana/Latina Studies Studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social.

Valenzuela examines the documentary, "El diablo nunca duerme," which translates to "The Devil Never Sleeps," from 1994, directed by Lourdes Portillo. In it the director questions, from a transnational Chicana political framework, the sexist cultural traditions inherent in the Mexican family as a social institution. Such transgression takes place within the interstices of two interrelated national borders since the beginning of the 20th century. By questioning said traditions, Portillo creates transnational links that deconstruct family histories and oppressive positionalities. She reconfigures and negotiates new liberating possibilities of living based on a dual locality. Founded on counter-hegemonic discourses, Portillo reconfigures a U.S. transnational imaginary in which she confronts intimate discourses and, based on historical documentation, she is able to deconstruct the Mexican imaginary in order to reveal Mexican social and cultural convictions. Portillo is able to positively rewrite herself into the collective Mexican border imaginary through the filmic text, and forges a new transnational imaginary different from the Mexican imaginary of the Chicana: she openly explores the contradictions of the family unit and stops accepting the ideology of patriarchal hegemony.