Puerto Rican culture often includes music as a method of expressing cultural identity. For instance, music has been considered a symbol of resistance, identity, and performative culture for many Puerto Ricans. This thesis will heavily rely on the involvement of Afro-Latin music in literature to determine ways that Puertorriqueñidad can be defined. To do this, I will examine how Puerto Rican writers present their identity in their works to define what it means to be Puerto Rican. These writers include the poet Sandra María Esteves and author Judith Ortiz Cofer. Throughout their literary works, they express several connections to their Puerto Rican identity, and through close examination, I was able to compile these connections to music, feminist ideologies, and themes of resistance and oppression. Using the scholarship of Puerto Rican scholar Juan Flores' From Bomba to Hip-Hop: Puerto Rican Culture and Latino Identity and Chicana feminist theorist Chela Sandoval's Methodology of the Oppressed, this thesis will contribute to the examination of music in literature as defying systems of oppression in Puerto Rican culture and explore the relationship between music and Puerto Rican identity.
Milanés, Cecilia Rodríguez
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Robles, Keyla A., ""There Was Also the Music": A Literary Analysis of Puerto Rican Identity in the Works of Sandra Maria Esteves and Judith Ortiz Cofer" (2021). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1071.