Transforming Suffering: Insights From the Work of Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa
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CitationBarros, Pearl Maria. 2016. Transforming Suffering: Insights From the Work of Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Divinity School.
AbstractGloria Anzaldúa’s understanding of suffering is inextricably connected to subjectivity and spirituality. Tracing her rethinking of stories/histories involving the violent dismemberment of female religious figures, specifically Teresa of Ávila and Coyolxauhqui, I show how Anzaldúa's critical engagement and creative reimagining of these stories/histories lead her to develop a conception of fragmentation and wholeness that resists dualistic epistemologies. For Anzaldúa, suffering emerges from dualism and the violence inherent in processes of categorization, especially as they function in identity formations. “Self,” Anzaldúa argues, cannot be neatly organized or fully understood; it is always in process. Writing, as an act of “spiritual activism,” mirrors this process of becoming because it demands critically and creatively analyzing the stories/histories that inform our understandings of self and others – of nos/otras. Writing becomes a spiritual and shamanic act capable of inviting personal and political transformation. Through her writings, I argue, Anzaldúa acts as poet-shaman, calling us toward a spirituality of transformation and inspiring visions of what it might mean to live together in nonhierarchical multiplicity.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:27194247