Ripped Apart

Ripped Apart

Unsettling Narratives of Transnational Migration

Vanessa de Veritch Woodside


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Ripped Apart: Unsettling Narratives of Transnational Migration is an innovative and interdisciplinary analysis of Latina narratives of transnational migration that underscore the intersections of the physical, psychological, sociocultural, and legal / structural traumas endured by migrants and their families. Grounded in theories of narrative empathy and the representation of trauma, Ripped Apart analyzes the techniques that Latina writers of various literary genres deploy to develop empathy, interrogate the representation of migrants in dominant discourse, and condemn the structures and institutions that continue to contribute to the separation of families.

An excellent introduction to critical Latina texts that address migration and family separation, Ripped Apart incorporates an overview of US immigration policies and practices and notions of citizenship, legality, and whiteness that have resulted in conceptualizations of immigrants as permanent foreigners, criminals, or threats to US society, and provides sociohistorical context regarding the often obscured or omitted historical chapters that serve as the texts’ backdrops. In describing how and why Latina narratives reveal the hidden stories of the impact of transnational migration on women and children, Ripped Apart demonstrates the power of literature and storytelling to unsettle the reader, modify cognitive schemas, and create real-world positive change.


Vanessa de Veritch Woodside:
Vanessa de Veritch Woodside is an Associate Professor of Spanish Languages and Cultures at the University of Washington Tacoma, where she teaches courses in Spanish and Latin American and Latinx Studies. Her research focuses on the subversive power of storytelling, implementation of innovative pedagogical techniques, and community-engaged partnerships with local immigrant and refugee communities and nonprofits that serve them.