Bridging: How Gloria Anzaldúa’s Life and Work Transformed Our Own

Posted in Anthologies, Biography, Books, Gay & Lesbian, Identity Development/Psychology, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Women on 2011-11-13 19:15Z by Steven

Bridging: How Gloria Anzaldúa’s Life and Work Transformed Our Own

University of Texas Press
April 2011
292 pages
6 x 9 in., 6 b&w photos

Edited by:

AnaLouise Keating, Professor of Women’s Studies
Texas Woman’s University

Gloria González-López, Associate Professor of Sociology, and Faculty Associate
Center for Mexican American Studies
Center for Women’s and Gender Studies
Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies
University of Texas, Austin

The inspirational writings of cultural theorist and social justice activist Gloria Anzaldúa have empowered generations of women and men throughout the world. Charting the multiplicity of Anzaldúa’s impact within and beyond academic disciplines, community trenches, and international borders, Bridging presents more than thirty reflections on her work and her life, examining vibrant facets in surprising new ways and inviting readers to engage with these intimate, heartfelt contributions.

Bridging is divided into five sections: The New Mestizas: “transitions and transformations”; Exposing the Wounds: “You gave me permission to fly in the dark”; Border Crossings: Inner Struggles, Outer Change; Bridging Theories: Intellectual Activism with/in Borders; and “Todas somos nos/otras”: Toward a “politics of openness.” Contributors, who include Norma Elia Cantú, Elisa Facio, Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Aída Hurtado, Andrea Lunsford, Denise Segura, Gloria Steinem, and Mohammad Tamdgidi, represent a broad range of generations, professions, academic disciplines, and national backgrounds. Critically engaging with Anzaldúa’s theories and building on her work, they use virtual diaries, transformational theory, poetry, empirical research, autobiographical narrative, and other genres to creatively explore and boldly enact future directions for Anzaldúan studies.

A book whose form and content reflect Anzaldúa’s diverse audience, Bridging perpetuates Anzaldúa’s spirit through groundbreaking praxis and visionary insights into culture, gender, sexuality, religion, aesthetics, and politics. This is a collection whose span is as broad and dazzling as Anzaldúa herself.

Table of Conents

  • Con profunda gratitud
  • Building Bridges, Transforming Loss, Shaping New Dialogues: Anzaldúan Studies for the Twenty-First Century (AnaLouise Keating and Gloria González-López)
  • I. The New Mestizas: “transitions and transformations”
    • 1. Bridges of conocimiento: Una conversación con Gloria Anzaldúa (Lorena M. P. Gajardo)
    • 2. A Letter to Gloria Anzaldúa Written from 30, Feet and 25 Years after Her “Speaking in Tongues: A Letter to 3rd-World Women Writers” (ariel robello)
    • 3. Deconstructing the Immigrant Self: The Day I Discovered I Am a Latina (Anahí Viladrich)
    • 4. My Path of Conocimiento: How Graduate School Transformed Me into a Nepantlera (Jessica Heredia)
    • 5. Aprendiendo a Vivir/Aprendiendo a Morir (Norma Elia Cantú)
    • 6. Making Face, Rompiendo Barreras: The Activist Legacy of Gloria E. Anzaldúa (Aída Hurtado)
  • II. Exposing the Wounds: “You gave me permission to fly into the dark”
    • 7. Anzaldúa, Maestra (Sebastián José Colón-Otero)
    • 8. “May We Do Work That Matters”: Bridging Gloria Anzaldúa across Borders (Claire Joysmith)
    • 9. A Call to Action: Spiritual Activism . . . an Inevitable Unfolding (Karina L. Céspedes)
    • 10. Gloria Anzaldúa and the Meaning of Queer (Héctor Domínguez-Ruvalcaba)
    • 11. Breaking Our Chains: Achieving Nos/otras Consciousness (Lei Zhang)
    • 12. Conocimiento and Healing: Academic Wounds, Survival, and Tenure (Gloria González-López)
  • III. Border Crossings: Inner Struggles, Outer Change
    • 13. Letters from Nepantla: Writing through the Responsibilities and Implications of the Anzaldúan Legacy (Michelle Kleisath)
    • 14. Challenging Oppressive Educational Practices: Gloria Anzaldúa on My Mind, in My Spirit (Betsy Eudey)
    • 15. Living Transculturation: Confessions of a Santero Sociologist (Glenn Jacobs)
    • 16. Acercándose a Gloria Anzaldúa to Attempt Community (Paola Zaccaria)
    • 17. Learning to Live Together: Bridging Communities, Bridging Worlds (Shelley Fisher Fishkin)
    • 18. Risking the Vision, Transforming the Divides: Nepantlera Perspectives on Academic Boundaries, Identities, and Lives (AnaLouise Keating)
  • IV. Bridging Theories: Intellectual Activism with/in Borders
    • 19. “To live in the borderlands means you” (Mariana Ortega)
    • 20. A Modo de Testimoniar: Borderlands, Papeles, and U.S. Academia (Esther Cuesta)
    • 21. On Borderlands and Bridges: An Inquiry into Gloria Anzaldúa’s Methodology (Jorge Capetillo-Ponce)
    • 22. For Gloria, Para Mi (Mary Catherine Loving)
    • 23. Chicana Feminist Sociology in the Borderlands (Elisa Facio and Denise A. Segura)
    • 24. Embracing Borderlands: Gloria Anzaldúa and Writing Studies (Andrea A. Lunsford)
  • V. Todas Somos Nos/otras: Toward a “Politics of Openness”
    • 25. Hurting, Believing, and Changing the World: My Faith in Gloria Anzaldúa (Suzanne Bost)
    • 26. Feels Like “Carving Bone”: (Re)Creating the Activist-Self, (Re)Articulating Transnational Journeys, while Sifting through Anzaldúan Thought (Kavitha Koshy)
    • 27. Shifting (Kelli Zaytoun)
    • 28. “Darkness, My Night”: The Philosophical Challenge of Gloria Anzaldúa’s Aesthetics of the Shadow (María DeGuzmán)
    • 29. The Simultaneity of Self- and Global Transformations: Bridging with Anzaldúa’s Liberating Vision (Mohammad H. Tamdgidi)
    • 30. For Gloria Anzaldúa . . . Who Left Us Too Soon (Gloria Steinem)
    • 31. She Eagle: For Gloria Anzaldúa (Gloria Steinem)
  • Notes
  • Glossary
  • Works Cited
  • Published Writings by Gloria E. Anzaldúa
  • Contributors’ Biographies
  • Index
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West Meets East: Nineteenth-Century Southern Dialogues on Mixture, Race, Gender, and Nation

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, United States on 2010-11-13 03:04Z by Steven

West Meets East: Nineteenth-Century Southern Dialogues on Mixture, Race, Gender, and Nation

The Mississippi Quarterly
Volume 56, Number 4 (Fall 2003)

Suzanne Bost, Associate Professor of English
Loyola University

When I was growing up in the Eastern half of the United States, American history was presented to me in neatly binary terms: Cowboys and Indians, North and South, Black and White. There were binaries when my family moved out West, too, but the demarcations were in different places: North or South of the border, English or Spanish, hamburgers with or without green chile. Here, sometimes cowboys were Indians, and Mexicans were Americans. The fact that my Eastern home was North and my Western home was South complicated matters further, and I learned to accept that Southerners, though never victorious, were not always as misguided as my first teachers had suggested they were. The deconstruction of American myths and binaries began for me long before I learned to see the world through the lenses of postmodernism or the new American Studies. Moreover, this racial and national decentering occurred not by way of contemporary globalization or NAFTA but throughout American history.

Mestizaje and hybridity are popular concepts today because they lift identity from singular categories and frameworks. They are celebrated, along with Tiger Woods, fusion cuisine, and the Internet, as transracial, transnational frameworks for new, millennial Americans. For Mexicans and Mexican Americans, however, hybridity and racial and national decentering are not a postmodern horizon but rather long-standing historical facts. Racial mixture was part of the Spanish colonial strategy for, literally, “hispanicizing” the natives and acquiring their lands. As such, mixture has been central to the formation of racism, nationalism, resistance, and identity politics in most Southern Americas for centuries. In nineteenth-century Mexico, mestizaje was nationalistic, not transgressive or defiant of norms, while in the Southeastern United States, miscegenation represented a breakdown in the definition of American identity…

Read the entire article here.

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Fluidity without Postmodernism: Michelle Cliff and the “Tragic Mulatta” Tradition

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Women on 2010-07-27 01:00Z by Steven

Fluidity without Postmodernism: Michelle Cliff and the “Tragic Mulatta” Tradition

African American Review
Vol. 32, No. 4 (Winter, 1998)
pages 673-689

Suzanne Bost, Associate Professor of English
Loyola University

I am writing the story of my life as a statue… I wish they had carved me from the onyx of Elizabeth Catlett.  Or molded me from the dark clay of Augusta Savage.  Or cut me from mahogany or cast me in bronze.  I wish I were dark plaster like Meta Warrick Fuller’s Talking Skull.  But I appear more as Edmonia Lewis’s Hagar—wringing her hands in the wilderness—white marble figure of no homeland—her striations caught within.  (Cliff, Land 85)

In “The Laughing Mulatto (Formerly a Statue) Speaks,” Michelle Cliff invokes past stereotypes of the mulatto and the sculptors who remolded them. From Edmonia Lewis (1844-1909)—the half-black, half-Chippewasculpor who gained international fame with the help of abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison and Lydia Maria Child—to Augusta Savage (1892-1962)—the Harlem Renaissance artists who sculpted busts of W. E. B. Du Bois, Frederick Douglass, and Marcus Garvey—black artists have been reconstructing images of African Americans.  The speaker of “The Laughing Mulatto” identifies with racial “betweeenness,” yet she also subverts racist conventions that privilege the whiteness within biracial African Americans. She wishes that her skin were darker: onyx, mahogany, or bronze, not white marble (Cliff, Land 85).  Her wish implicitly compares race to workable materials, as if racial identity were something that could be chiseled and molded by an artist…

Read or purchase the article here.

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Mulattas and Mestizas: Representing Mixed Identities in the Americas, 1850–2000

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2009-11-02 16:30Z by Steven

Mulattas and Mestizas: Representing Mixed Identities in the Americas, 1850–2000

University of Georgia Press
284 pages
Trim size: 6 x 9
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8203-2325-1
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8203-2781-5

Suzanne Bost, Associate Professor of English
Loyola University

In this broadly conceived exploration of how people represent identity in the Americas, Suzanne Bost argues that mixture has been central to the definition of race in the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean since the nineteenth century. Her study is particularly relevant in an era that promotes mixed-race musicians, actors, sports heroes, and supermodels as icons of a “new” America. Bost challenges the popular media’s notion that a new millennium has ushered in a radical transformation of American ethnicity; in fact, this paradigm of the “changing” face of America extends throughout American history.

Working from literary and historical accounts of mulattas, mestizas, and creoles, Bost analyzes a tradition, dating from the nineteenth century, of theorizing identity in terms of racial and sexual mixture. By examining racial politics in Mexico and the United States; racially mixed female characters in Anglo-American, African American, and Latina narratives; and ideas of mixture in the Caribbean, she ultimately reveals how the fascination with mixture often corresponds to racial segregation, sciences of purity, and white supremacy. The racism at the foundation of many nineteenth-century writings encourages Bost to examine more closely the subtexts of contemporary writings on the “browning” of America.

Original and ambitious in scope, Mulattas and Mestizas measures contemporary representations of mixed-race identity in the United States against the history of mixed-race identity in the Americas. It warns us to be cautious of the current, millennial celebration of mixture in popular culture and identity studies, which may, contrary to all appearances, mask persistent racism and nostalgia for purity.

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