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"My Bones Shine in the Dark": AIDS and the De-scription of Chicano Queer in the Work of Gil Cuadros

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The autobiographically modulated poetry and prose collection City of God (1994) and other published works by the late Gil Cuadros (1962-96) survive as an important set of AIDS testimonials, the first of their kind in Chicano literary production. This paper explores Cuadros's preoccupation with processes of identificatory signification and corporeal scripting. I regard his writings as a sustained textual response to the multiple signifying systems that battle over the Chicano queer body, which is always an ambivalently U.S. body, and, in his texts, a body living and dying with AIDS as well. Accordingly, my main interest lies in plotting how Cuadros's work confronts and evades the sociocultural imperative to make of the queer Chicano subject a body that can be read, known, and potentially punished.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • Aztlán presents original research that is relevant to or informed by the Chicano experience. An interdisciplinary, refereed journal, Aztlán focuses on scholarly essays in the humanities, social sciences, and arts, supplemented by thematic pieces in the dosier section, an artist's communiqué, a review section, and a commentary by the editor, Chon A. Noriega. Aztlán seeks ways to bring Chicano studies into critical dialogue with Latino, ethnic, American, and global studies.
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