Gloria Anzaldúa: Why she kicks ass
- Gloria was a scholar of Chicano cultural theory, feminist theory, and Queer theory.
- She loosely based her most well-known book Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestizaon her life growing up on the Mexican-Texas border and incorporated her lifelong feelings of social and cultural marginalization into her works.
- In her writing, Anzaldua uses a unique blend of eight languages, two variations of English and six of Spanish. In many ways, by writing in “Spanglish,” Anzaldua creates a daunting task for the non-bilingual reader to decipher the full meaning of the text. However, there is irony in the mainstream reader’s feeling of frustration and irritation. These are the very emotions Anzaldua has dealt with throughout her life, as she has struggled to communicate in a country where she felt as a non-English speaker she was shunned and punished. Language, clearly one of the borders Anzaldua addresses, is an essential feature to her writing. Her book is dedicated to being proud of one’s heritage and to recognizing the many dimensions of her culture.
- She has made contributions to ideas of feminism and has contributed to the field of cultural theory/Chicana and queer theory.One of her major contributions was her introduction to United States academic audiences of the term mestizaje, meaning a state of being beyond binary (“either-or”) conception, into academic writing and discussion. In her theoretical works, Anzaldúa calls for a “new mestiza,” which she describes as an individual aware of her conflicting and meshing identities and uses these “new angles of vision” to challenge binary thinking in the Western world.
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