A linguistic map, drawn with the etching power of language and media policies, effectively constitutes difference and hierarchies between populations. In the United States, this map separates the local from the foreign and the mobile and is the foundational structure in the architecture of the public sphere. However important, language and linguistic policies are often absent in discussions of ethno-racial equality in the United States, a blind spot in our understandings of how the state plans, controls, and regulates minorities. Language is the very substance of culture and its unequal regulation through law and policy guarantees unequal political cultures. To illustrate this thesis, this presentation examines the regulation, through policy and law, of Spanish and Spanish language media in the United States as interlocking technologies of power that constitute the bulk of the legal and cultural basis of U.S. nativism.
Hector Amaya is Professor of Media Studies at University of Virginia and a 2016-17 visiting scholar at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford. He writes on Latino media studies, transnationalism, the cultural production of political identities, and Latin American film/media. He is the author of Screening Cuba: Film Criticism as Political Performance During the Cold War (University of Illinois Press 2010) and Citizenship Excess: Latinos/as, Media, and the Nation (NYU Press 2013), and has published over twenty articles in his field. Two books currently under review include: “Trafficking: The Violent Restructuring of Publicity in Mexico and the United States” and a co-edited collection on the drug wars in the Americas.
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