Scales of Captivity: Racial Capitalism and the Latinx Child
In Scales of Captivity, Mary Pat Brady traces the figure of the captive or cast-off child in Latinx and Chicanx literature and art between chattel slavery’s final years and the mass deportations of the twenty-first century. She shows how Latinx expressive practices expose how every rescaling of economic and military power requires new modalities of capture, new ways to bracket and hedge life. Through readings of novels by Helena María Viramontes, Oscar Casares, Lorraine López, Maceo Montoya, Reyna Grande, Daniel Peña, and others, Brady illustrates how submerged captivities reveal the way mechanisms of constraint such as deportability ground institutional forms of carceral modernity and how such practices scale relations by naturalizing the logic of scalar hierarchies underpinning racial capitalism. By showing how representations of the captive child critique the entrenched logic undergirding colonial power, Brady challenges racialized modes of citizenship while offering visions for living beyond borders.