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BEYOND THE COMFORT ZONE

By Sonja Burrows


“Beyond the Comfort Zone: Monolingual Ideologies, Bilingual U.S. Latino Texts” is a dissertation prepared by Sonja S. Burrows in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree awarded in June of 2010 by the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Oregon. This project examines reader reception of U.S. Latino-authored narratives that engage in varying degrees of textual code switching and bicultural belonging. The analysis builds on the argument that these narratives, as part of a larger body of minor literatures, play a role in revolutionizing traditional Anglo-American discourses of knowledge by marginalizing the monolingual and monocultural reader historically positioned as the prototype of cultural literacy in the United States. This project further proposes that marginalization is achieved by a textual appropriation and structural weakening of the dominant language and culture via the creation of a narrative space that privileges code switching to articulate bicultural identities. U.S. Latino texts that alternate between English and Spanish mirror the misunderstandings and failures of intelligibility in the multicultural situations they depict, thereby requiring the monolingual and monocultural reader to experience this unintelligibility first-hand.

 

 

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