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Our Language

Ilan Stavans (Restless Books)

Who decides what makes a language? In countries all over the world, there are official organizations with that job–in France, Croatia, India, Denmark, Nigeria, Mexico. But Ilan Stavans reminds us that in the United States, the people decide our language.

18 mins

Walk the Barrio

Christina Rodriguez (Providence College)

In the U.S., Hispanic neighborhoods sit at an intersection of American and Latin identities. Christina Rodriguez says these barrios play a big part in Latinx literature, but you’ve got to walk their streets to know how.

34 mins

How to Become an American

Cristina Stanciu (Virginia Commonwealth University)

Cristina Stanciu, author of The Makings and Unmakings of Americans, argues that it’s worth looking at turn of the century immigrant narratives alongside another group–Native Americans–who were also trying to prove their case as Americans in the public sphere.

11 mins

Telling a Different Story

Katrina Powell (Virginia Tech)

Katrina Powell shares the expected immigrant narrative and the ways in which writers are constantly resisting and countering that expected story.

13 mins

This program is made possible by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the United We Stand: Connecting Through Culture initiative.

Support for this episode also comes from The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation. This is a charitable trust created by the will of acclaimed 20th century artist Joseph Cornell, that honors the memory of the artist and his younger brother Robert.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this episode do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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