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Jesse Alemán

Jesse Alemán is Professor of English at the University of New Mexico, where he teaches nineteenth-century American and Mexican American literary studies.

The Latino Nineteenth Century: Archival Encounters in American Literary History

The Latino Nineteenth Century - Archival Encounters in American Literary History

"A retelling of U.S., Latin American, and Latino/a literary history through writing by Latinos/as who lived in the United States during the long nineteenth century

Written by both established and emerging scholars, the essays in The Latino Nineteenth Century engage materials in Spanish and English and genres ranging from the newspaper to the novel, delving into new texts and areas of research as they shed light on well-known writers. This volume situates nineteenth-century Latino intellectuals and writers within crucial national, hemispheric, and regional debates.

The Latino Nineteenth Century offers a long-overdue corrective to the Anglophone and nation-based emphasis of American literary history. Contributors track Latino/a lives and writing through routes that span Philadelphia to San Francisco and roots that extend deeply into Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South Americas, and Spain. Readers will find in the rich heterogeneity of texts and authors discussed fertile ground for discussion and will discover the depth, diversity, and long-standing presence of Latinos/as and their literature in the United States."

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Empire and the Literature of Sensation: An Anthology of Nineteenth Century Popular Fiction

Empire and the Literature of Sensation - An Anthology of Nineteenth Century Popular Fiction

"Mid-nineteenth-century American literature teems with the energy and excitement characteristic of the nation's era of expansion. It also reveals the intense anxiety and conflict of a country struggling with what it will mean, socially and culturally, to incorporate previously held Spanish territories. Empire and the Literature of Sensation is a critical anthology of some of the most popular and sensational writings published before the Civil War. It is a collection of transvestite adventures, forbidden love, class conflict, and terrifying encounters with racial 'others.'

Most of the accounts, although widely distributed in nineteenth-century newspapers, pamphlets, or dime store novels, have long been out of print. Reprinted here for the first time are novelettes by two superstars of the cheap fiction industry, Ned Buntline and George Lippard. Also included are selections from one of the first dime novels as well as the narratives of Leonora Siddons and Sophia Delaplain, both who claim in their autobiographical pamphlets to have cross-dressed as men and participated in the Texas rebellion and Cuban filibustering.

Originally written for entertainment and enormously popular in their day, these sensational thrillers reveal for today's audiences how the rhetoric of empire was circulated for mass consumption and how imperialism generated domestic and cultural instability during the period of the American literary renaissance."

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The Woman in Battle: The Civil War Narrative of Loreta Janeta Velazquez, Cuban Woman and Confederate Soldier

The Woman in Battle - The Civil War Narrative of Loreta Janeta Velazquez, Cuban Woman and Confederate Soldier

"A Cuban woman who moved to New Orleans in the 1850s and eloped with her American lover, Loreta Janeta Velazquez fought in the Civil War for the Confederacy as the cross-dressing Harry T. Buford. As Buford, she single-handedly organized an Arkansas regiment; participated in the historic battles of Bull Run, Balls Bluff, Fort Donelson, and Shiloh; romanced men and women; and eventually decided that spying as a woman better suited her Confederate cause than fighting as a man. In the North, she posed as a double agent and worked to traffic information, drugs, and counterfeit bills to support the Confederate cause. She was even hired by the Yankee secret service to find 'the woman...traveling and figuring as a Confederate agent' — Velazquez herself.

Originally published in 1876 as The Woman in Battle, this Civil War narrative offers Velazquez’s seemingly impossible autobiographical account, as well as a new critical introduction and glossary by Jesse Alemán. Scholars are divided between those who read the book as a generally honest autobiography and those who read it as mostly fiction. According to Alemán’s critical introduction, the book also reads as pulp fiction, spy memoir, seduction narrative, travel literature, and historical account, while it mirrors the literary conventions of other first-person female accounts of cross-dressing published in the United States during wartime, dating back to the Revolutionary War. Whatever the facts are, this is an authentic Civil War narrative, Alemán concludes, that recounts how war disrupts normal gender roles, redefines national borders, and challenges the definition of identity."

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Department of English Language and Literature
Humanities Building, Second Floor
MSC03 2170
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Phone: (505) 277-6347
Fax: (505) 277-0021

english@unm.edu