Saturday, April 26, 2008, 11:00 am–3:00pm
(Dis)locating Borderlands: Constructing Latino Cultures in American Spaces
Motherhood in the Borderland: Adolescent Chicanas in the Decolonial Imaginary
Alexandra Mendoza, University of Minnesota at Twin Cities
Chicana/o folklore is a site at which cultural values and gender roles are both produced and maintained and the parameters of acceptable social behavior are constructed. Feminine archetypes embodied by figures such as La Llorona, La Virgen de Guadalupe, and Malintzín are constructed along a moral binary that forces women into one of two categories: “virgin” or “whore.” By realizing their potential as reproductive bodies, adolescent Chicana mothers birth a third space between virgin and whore—what Gloria Anzaldúa calls a borderland space and Emma Peréz calls an interstitial space—outside of this moral binary. Carved out by their own flesh, this space represents a point of rupture for the archetypical narratives of female sexuality proscribed by Mexican/Chicano culture and provides a space for reimagination and liberation.
Transgender Borderlands/Miami Borderlands: Documenting Early Cuban American Transgender Activists
Susana Peña, Bowling Green State University
Gloria Anzaldúa highlighted the relationship between the geopolitical specificity of the U.S./Mexico border—with its history of migration, inequality, and violence—and the psychic borderlands of those who transgress normative social categories of race, gender, and sexuality. This paper asks whether Miami is a “borderlands”? While acknowledging important differences between Anzaldúa’s conceptualization and Miami, I argue that the intersectional examination of a geo-politically specific region, Latino/a groups, and borders between gender, racial, and class categories that Anzaldúa provides helps us further understand Miami. Also, I examine the borderlands between transgender male-to-female and gay male communities. I document early Latina transgender activists in 1970s Miami who participated in Transgender Action Organization (TAO). Drawing on the organization’s publications and Director Angela Douglas’ self-published autobiographies, I analyze the participation of Latinas in the organization. Through my analysis, I analyze the borders between Cuban American gay male and transgender communities.
Seduction as Revolution: The Printing Press and Political Consciousness in Early 19th Century Texas
Raúl Coronado, Jr., University of Chicago
In 1810 Texas was the northeastern extremity of New Spain and was still part of the Spanish empire. In that year, Father Miguel Hidalgo, leader of the Mexican movement for independence deputized José Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara ambassador to the U.S. Gutiérrez de Lara traveled to the U.S. in the hope of gaining support for the independence of Spanish America. This paper explores the arrival of revolution and political modernity in Spanish Texas by turning to Gutiérrez de Lara’s travels and the revolutionary documents he circulated throughout Texas. The paper concludes by briefly discussing the relationship between these events and the history of US Latino subjectivities.
All papers are pre-circulated electronically to those who plan to attend the seminar in person. For a copy of the papers, e-mail Jenny Butler at email@example.com, or call 312-255-3524. Please do not request the papers unless you plan to attend.
The Newberry Seminar in Borderlands and Latino Studies is co-sponsored by The Newberry Library, Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame, The Center for Latino Research at DePaul University, Latino Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, and the Katz Center for Mexican Studies at the University of Chicago
The Newberry Library
Dr. William M. Scholl Center for
Family and Community History
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago, Illinois 60610
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