Chapter Nine – Cultures, Queerness, and Ethnicity

Notes on Gloria Anzaldúa

Photograph of Anzaldúa's head and shoulders. She is wearing a blue sweater and beaded earrings, while smiling and looking at the camera. The backdrop is out-of-focus greenery
“Gloria Anzáldua” by K. Kendall

Gloria Anzaldúa 1942-2004


  • Born to a ranch owner in Texas, worked the fields throughout high school
  • Indigenous, Basque and Spanish descent
  • Endocrinology issues led to menstruate at a few months old and to an early hysterectomy- “I was born queer”
  • B.A in English, Art, and Secondary Education from Pan American University
  • M.A. in English and Education from the University of Texas at Austin

Professional Career

  • Non-tenure track positions at San Francisco State University, the University of California, Santa Cruz and Florida Atlantic University
  • Co-editor (with Cherrie Moraga) of This Bridge Called My Back
  • National Endowment for the Arts Fiction Award 1991
  • Post-humously awarded PhD from UC Santa Cruz 2005

Theoretical Contributions: New Mestiza

  • Borderland subjectivity/ Nepantilism: torn between ways – mental state of the mestiza who speaks multiple tongues and is the result of multiple ethnicities
  • Divergent Thinking: Challenges Western binary thinking
  • Multiracial or multiethnic
  • Believes in, embraces and promotes multisexuality – professes her love freely
  • Queerness connected with Mestiza and Indigenous soul
  • Counterstance is step toward liberation, but not a way of life. Either live in two shores or abandon “white” culture


Anzaldúa died at 62 from complications of diabetes.


The Border

“Borderlands/LaFrontera” by ThirdWorldThirdSpace


Part Nine Video Lecture


Media Attributions

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