Onda Latina

The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

Nav: Home


The State Of Chicano Literature
Program #

Armando Gutiérrez
Ramón Saldívar
Oct 11, 1978

The State of Chicano Literature

Dr. Ramon Saldivar discusses the history and development of Chicano Literature. He defines Chicano literature, which is a relatively new development, primarily by the background of its author and whether or not he or she identifies as Chicano. Chicano literature has been influenced by a variety of sources, including U.S. culture and Latin American literatures. He explains that it really emerged in the late 1950s, with the publication of Pocho, and almost simultaneously other literary genres, including poems and drama, appeared. While most Chicano literature deals with social issues, at least initially it was concerned with the characters and their development. Saldivar also explains that most Chicano literature is bilingual.

He then discusses the various genres of Chicano literature and their development. He explains that Chicano theatre began in the fields, but has now distanced itself somewhat from its early revolutionary aims. The novel is currently the most popular genre in part because it is able to reflect the complexity of the Chicano experience more easily than poetry or drama. He then explores some of the major Chicano works. Saldivar says that Chicanas are also very active in producing literature, in particular poetry and drama.

Saldivar believes that because of sociological and historical reasons, Chicano literature still has to establish its authenticity and validity to U.S. audiences, although audiences abroad regard the genre very highly. Saldivar believes that in the future, the novel will continue to occupy a major place in Chicano literature.


Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

DIIA | © 2009 Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services