José A. de la Garza Valenzuela
- Assistant Professor
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Queer in a Legal Sense: Brown Citizenship and Other Lawful Fictions, a study of queer Chicano narrative, argues that legal texts are lawful fictions that establish enforceable definitions of citizenship not always codified in law. The book examines queer Chicano works like John Rechy’s City of Night, Arturo Islas’ The Rain God, Michael Nava’s The Death of Friends, Rigoberto González’s Crossing Vines, and Jaime Cortez’s Sexile/Sexilio alongside legal texts like the Purple Pamphlet, Boutilier v. INS, Bowers v. Hardwick, green cards, the Immigration Reform and Control Act, and the Matter of Toboso-Alfonso, to examine the gap between the law’s conception of citizenship and how queer migrants and Chicanxs represent how their communities experience it to democratize the legislative and judicial interpretative practices the state uses to curate the citizenry.