Latino USA: Graphic Narrative, History, and Heteroglossia


  • Adriana María Angel Botero

Palabras clave:

Hegemony, text, Latinos, graphic novel


With a population of more than 45 million, Latinos have become a significant demographic group within the United States. Increasingly, Latinos are part of and represent diverse political, social, and economic institutions throughout the United States. How did this phenomenon begin? Which are the historical conditions that explain this increase in the Latino population? What do we mean when we refer to Latinos as a particular demographic group within the United States? These are some of the questions that Ilan Stavans and Lalo Alcaraz (2000) approach in their graphic book Latino USA: A Cartoon History. Through the analysis of this graphic book, I analyze the topic of history and, specifically, the production of a historical graphic narrative about Latinos in the United States. I argue that Latino USA shows that history is a polyvocal narrative in which different voices are involved. Besides hegemonic representations of reality, it is possible to find different perspectives and points of view from which facts are interpreted. Besides analyzing the content of the text, I explore who, how, and why produces that text. In other words, I analyze the author’s own position in her/his text in relation to the material that she/he writes about.