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HB-273505-21

Michael Cucher
University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras (San Juan, PR 00925-2512)
Boychiks and Boricuas: Representations of Jewish Masculinity in the Literature of the Puerto Rican Diaspora

Research and writing resulting in an article examining representations of Jewish masculinity in the work of three Puerto-Rican American authors.

In the spirit of the NEH Special Initiative “A More Perfect Union,” this peer-reviewed article will investigate the “modern, pluralistic society” of the United States through three Puerto Rican authors who represent Jewish masculinity in their works. Each author represents a specific relationship to the Puerto Rican diaspora from the early 20th century to the present. Arturo Schomburg, Piri Thomas, and Aurora Levins Morales use representations of Jewish manliness to explore issues from upward social mobility and spirituality to diaspora and nationalism. Some of these representations reflect conflicts between Puerto Ricans and Jewish people. Others reference historical examples – or dreams of a future – in which these communities work together. My thesis is that some representations of Jewish men in Latinx literature help readers to reimagine U.S. models of masculinity as opportunities for cooperation, generosity, and compassion rather than contests for supremacy and domination.

Project fields:
American Studies; Hispanic American Studies; Literature, Other

Program:
Awards for Faculty

Division:
Research Programs

Totals:
$22,500 (approved)
$22,500 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2021 – 4/30/2022