Philosophy Faculty Publications and Presentations

Gloria Anzaldúa's Affective Logic of Volverse Una

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Although Gloria Anzaldúa's critical categories have steadily entered discussions in the field of philosophy, a lingering skepticism remains about her works’ ability to transcend the particularity of her lived experience. In an effort to respond to this attitude, I make Anzaldúa's corpus the center of philosophical analysis and posit that immanent to this work is a logic that lends it the unity of a critical philosophy that accounts for its concrete, multilayered character and shifting, creative force. I call this an “affective logic of volverse una.” Starting with the understanding of a situated modality of all subjectivity, Anzaldúa's work exhibits a logic of three moments distinguished by states of awareness. Each state of awareness is characterized by the generative degree of the subject's responses to its conditions: critical, individuating, and expansive. Led by her late concepts of conocimiento and nepantlera, I return to her earlier works and trace Anzaldúa's innovative exploration of undoing the oppressive condition of marginal subjectivities from “La Prieta” through Borderlands/La Frontera to her final published essay “now let us shift.” I find a liberatory schema of volverse una/becoming whole that is grounded in an active receptivity of sensibility and facilitated by affective technologies for transformation.


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