Journal Article — From Borderlands and New Mestizas to Nepantlas and Nepantleras: Anzaldúan Theories for Social Change — by AnaLouise Keating
Perhaps not surprisingly—given the multifaceted nature of Borderlands and the diversity of Anzaldúa’s other writings—readers have overlooked additional, equally important dimensions of her work, leaving what Anzaldúa might call “blank spots” that prevent us from grasping the radical nature of her vision for social change and the crucial ways her theories have developed since the 1987 publication of Borderlands. Even as scholars continue exploring Borderlands, it is my hope that we will also investigate and write about Anzaldúa’s pre- and post-Borderlands ideas, especially a variety of interlinked theories she was working on at the time of her death—including, but not limited to: “new tribalism;” “geography of selves;” “el mundo zurdo;” “spiritual activism;” “la naguala, or watcher;” “the Coyolxauhqui imperative;” “the imaginal;” “autohistoria/autohistoria-teoría;” “nos/otras;” “conocimiento;” “nepantla;” and “nepantleras.” These Anzaldúan theories (as well as others) have not yet received the attention they merit. These concepts are crucial for those scholars hoping to understand the development of her thinking and the complexity of her work. More importantly for my argument here, these theories offer very useful tools for social change. In this article, I brieﬂy discuss ﬁve of these theories: nepantla and nepantleras, nos/otras, conocimiento, and spiritual activism.
Keating, AnaLouise. 2006. “From Borderlands and New Mestizas to Nepantlas and Nepantleras: Anzaldúan Theories for Social Change.” Pp. 5-16 in Re-Membering Anzaldúa: Human Rights, Borderlands, and the Poetics of Applied Social Theory: Engaging with Gloria Anzaldua in Self and Global Transformations (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Volume IV, Special Issue, 2006.) Belmont, MA: Okcir Press (an imprint of Ahead Publishing House).
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