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Critical Dialogues in Latinx StudiesA Reader$
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Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas and Mérida M. Rúa

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781479805198

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479805198.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022



Critical Listening, Mourning, and Decolonial Healing

(p.476) 35 Aguanile
Critical Dialogues in Latinx Studies

Frances R. Aparicio

NYU Press

Like other expressive arts, music and literature allow communities to mourn and heal after a tragic event. In this chapter, I return to Héctor Lavoe’s song, “Aguanile” and explore its social meanings and potential for healing through a sonoroliterary reading of Afro-Puerto Rican writer Amina Gautier’s eponymous short story published in 2014. I conclude that the act of critical listening to salsa music, which Gautier’s protagonist engages after her grandfather’s passing, is central to acknowledging our racial, gender, and generational identities and thus to allow ourselves to grieve for others after Hurricane María destroyed Puerto Rico in 2017. I expand this analysis with a personal testimonio regarding the decolonizing role of Latinx Studies as a field that creates a sense of collective belonging for a Diasporican feminist scholar like me, who has embraced Latinidad in the United States.

Keywords:   Puerto Rico, Diasporican, salsa music, Héctor Lavoe, decolonizing, literature, Afro-Puerto Rican, Latinx studies

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