Chapter Nine – Cultures, Queerness, and Ethnicity

La Conciencia de la Mestiza Exercises

La Conciencia de la Mestiza

Part One

  1. Is the concept of Mestiza one of inclusion or exclusion? Read the first paragraph of “La Conciencia,” cite, and explain.
  2. Why does Anzaldúa claim that defiance and/or counter stance “… is not a way of life” (423)? What does she argue for instead?

Part Two 

  1. Explain this passage: “A massive uprooting of dualistic thinking in the individual and collective consciousness is the beginning of a long struggle, but one that could, in our best hopes, bring us to the end of rape, of violence, or war” (424).
  2. Why is Anzaldua connecting dualistic (or binary) thinking with rape, violence, and war? Explain and cite from text.

Part Three

      Why does Anzaldúa write in English while also using words in Spanish? Find two sections from the text where Anzaldúa writes in Spanish, then translate them using Google Translator or another translation engine. Explain what your process of going from one language to another was like. Why is she choosing to write those specific words in Spanish, while she writes others in English? Be prepared to present your response to the class. 

Part Four 

       How does the “mestiza” create a new consciousness? Why does “rigidity mean death” for the mestiza and why does Anzaldúa emphasize the creative and dynamic character of this process? Refer to pages 423-424.

Part Five

      On page 426-427 under Anzaldúa calls for alliance across axes of oppression/resistance (gender, sexuality, ethnicity and others). What are her demands? Do not miss her demands for reparations. Explain in detail and quote from text. 


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