Journal Article — Keeping the Path of Conocimiento Real and Grounded — by Shirley Tang
When I prepared for my Fourth Year Review at UMass Boston about a year ago, I was reminded of all the inevitable changes in my role and responsibilities that had come with my transformation to be a teacher-scholar at an urban, public and research-intensive university. I wanted to emphasize in my own personal statement that nepantla had been (and still is) the only space where change happened(s). I drew heavily on Gloria Anzaldúa’s work in writing my personal statement because it was Gloria’s revolutionary language and far-sighted vision that had inspired and enabled me to think through the very contradictory context of academic politics. I did not know at the time that the organizers of the Social Theory Forum had in mind Gloria Anzaldúa for their conference. So when the STF announced its CFP several months later I was both surprised and excited, to the point that I took it as a mission to convince other members of the Diversity Subcommittee to engage with Anzaldúa’s last published thoughts. It meant a lot to me, as I went through Fourth Year Review this past year, to know that there is a place for Anzaldúa at our university. On those nights when I sat awake with my eyes wide open, stressing over a review process that we were constantly told we had no control of, Anzaldúa’s powerful words and arguments had given me the inner strength I needed to go on, to carry the bridge on my back, and to hold on to my center.
Tang، Shirley. 2006. “Keeping the Path of Conocimiento Real and Grounded.” Pp. 365-370 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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