Nuevas Fronteras / New Frontiers
This introductory chapter presents the book's rationale: to explore the convergence of race, space, and nation, as well as how the geopolitical divisions of the early nineteenth century—the period after the disintegration of the Spanish empire—helped organize racial thinking in the Americas and create a de facto Latino collectivity in the United States. It is not nostalgia for the lost land of Aztlán, the imaginary homeland of the Aztecs, that grounds Chicana/o imaginings of the nation but a deeper, older, transamerican vision. The book aims to reinsert this vision into discussions of the Chicana/o cultural imaginary. Other than documenting a Chicana/o national imaginary, the book also intends to construct its genealogy, investigate its etymology, and examine its meaning and contradictions. The latter part of the chapter provides a brief overview of the book's subsequent chapters.
Keywords: Spanish empire, Latino collectivity, the Americas, Aztlán, transamerican vision, Chicana/o national imaginary