Ava Chamberlain (Committee Chair), David Garrison (Committee Member), David Petreman (Committee Member), Damris Serrano (Committee Member)
Master of Humanities (MHum)
Contemporary Central America fiction writers offer realistic scenarios that often concentrate on the effects of globalization, the inevitable forces of transnational corporations, the global media, and government policy in the region. These writers show how racism and tensions between the social classes perpetuates division and alienates union between unique ethnic groups of the underprivileged majority. The dominant class in Central America, in collaboration with the United States threatens diverse cultures and causes their autonomous identities to become diluted and their very existence to become endangered. The Central American short story has a tendency to express various inequalities. It shows how privileged minorities of Central America enjoy an unequal distribution of wealth. Their children, for example, study abroad while the disenfranchised majority suffers inadequate education that fuels a kind of racism ("Hero"). It shows how the imposition of an asymmetrical exchange of culture by dominant Anglo values is integrated into Central America in an alliance between corrupt regional officials ("The Sniper") and conservative, right-wing death squads ("The Crying Children") and ("Paternity"). It reveals the actual cost to overthrow Manuel Noriega in 1989 ("A Scream in the Night"). The translated tales told in this project, illustrate this unequal multi-national cultural exchange. In this thesis I present to English-speaking readers these perspectives of Central America.
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