The Simultaneity of Self- and Global Transformations: Bridging with Anzaldúa’s Liberating Vision
Mohammad H. Tamdgidi published the chapter titled “The Simultaneity of Self- and Global Transformations: Bridging with Anzaldúa’s Liberating Vision,” in Bridging: How Gloria Anzaldúa’s Life and Work Transformed Our Own, a collection edited by AnaLouise Keating and Gloria Gonzalez-Lopez. The volume was published by the University of Texas Press in 2011.
Tamdgidi argues that Anzaldúa’s writings offer rich reservoirs of examples for phenomenological sociological research that advocates problematization of taken-for-granted and habituated knowledges and practices of everyday life, both inner and interpersonal, in order to better understand how they perpetuate (and can, alternatively, transform) larger social structures. Her prose and poetry are creative exercises in experimental breaching and disturbing of our comfort zones in the midst of every day living in class, race, gender, sexuality, age, and other borderlands. Anzaldúa brings symbolic interactionist theorizing and practice to an innovative and liberatory height. She has long transcended the border walls of prose and poetry, of linguistic dichotomies, of meaning and imagery, of substance and style, of theory and practice. It is no wonder that she has found a highly successful way to tap into the depths of her readers’ psyche and subconscious minds. And she is fully aware of what she does in this regard; it is her not-so-secret “alchemy” at work (“Borderlands” 103). As an “Eastern intellectual,” she intentionally transgresses and crosses boundaries of knowledge, experience, in favor of ever more holistic modes of knowing and doing.