Building Latina/o Community Autobiographies in Wyoming

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Recent studies have shown the importance of the autobiography genre in U.S. Latino literature as a way to highlight the Latina/o experience in the United States. This genre extends to include personal memoir, testimony, and individual and communal narratives. While regional autobiographies offer a unique perspective to particular spaces, they also provide connections to a larger body of U.S. Latina/o experiences that can be shared across different geographic spaces. In this way, they set the stage for what Benedict Anderson (2006) calls imagined communities. These imagined communities, while separated by a number of real and abstract boundaries, share commonalities in language, culture, history and sociopolitical circumstance as part of the U.S. Latina/o experience dating back to the 16th century. This study will focus on the regional autobiographical experiences of Latinas/os living in Wyoming through the creation of written and digital stories. The study asks, what factors contribute to U.S. Latina/o identity formation in rural Wyoming? How can Wyoming Latinas/os contribute to the concept of imagined communities concerning the larger U.S. Latina/o experience? How are Latinas/os reshaping the landscape of a white-dominant state?

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