Key Terms from Levander and Levine/ Control Machete (Americas)

Friday we screened a clip about Walleyball (get it?) and threw a short list of key terms on the board from Levander and Levine’s essay. The film clip was intended to emphasize the arbitrary and imaginary dimensions of national borders, as well as a task which confronts us: to violate the boundaries which grid the Western Hemisphere in order to understand its history and culture. Here are a few of the concepts from the essay, all of which will likely come in handy in the course of the semester:


Nation (nationalism, transnationalism)

Identity (racial, national, cultural)

diaspora (diasporic, diasporan, “diasporic consciousness”)

“cultural flows”

dialogism (dialogical)

decentering (and polycentric)

hemispheric (transhemispheric)


palimpsest (palimpsestic)




border (border studies, border-crossing)

Now listen to some music:

Control Machete, out of Monterrey, Mexico. They became hugely successful in the late 90s/ early 00s. Here’s “Comprendes Mendes”:

Years later they recorded with Cuban pianist Ruben Gonzales and Cafe Tacuba. “Danzon”: