JLA 13.2 Web-Enhanced Article
Bilingual Humor, Verbal Hygiene, and the Gendered Contradictions of Cultural Citizenship in Early Mexican American Comedy
Peter C. Haney
University of Texas at Austin
This article examines the paradoxes of linguistic purism in a series of sound recordings of comic dialogues made by Mexican immigrant comedians in San Antonio, Texas, during the Depression. The dialogues present characters who mix English and Spanish as transgressors of gender roles and national identities, reserving their harshest criticism for women. However, bilingual wordplay in the dialogues suggests a dialectically opposed ideological move toward a celebration of linguistic and cultural hybridity.
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