This essay examines Gloria Anzaldúa’s critical appropriation of two Mexican philosophers in the writing of Borderlands/La Frontera: Samuel Ramos and Octavio Paz. We argue that although neither of these authors is cited in her seminal work, Anzaldúa had them both in mind through the writing process and that their ideas are present in the text itself. Through a genealogical reading of Borderlands/La Frontera, and aided by archival research, we demonstrate how Anzaldúa’s philosophical vision of the “new mestiza” is a critical continuation of the broader tradition known as la filosofía de lo mexicano, which flourished during a golden age of Mexican philosophy (1910– 1960). Our aim is to open new directions in Latinx and Latin American philosophy by presenting Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera as a profound scholarly encounter with two classic works of Mexican philosophy, Ramos’ Profile of Man and Culture in Mexico and Paz’s The Labyrinth of Solitude.
Alessandri, M., & Stehn, A. (2020). Gloria Anzaldúa’s Mexican Genealogy: From Pelados and Pachucos to New Mestizas. Genealogy, 4(1), 12. https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4010012