Composing the Hemisphere

This is a blog for the accompanying directed reading course taught by Dr. Cyraina Johnson-Roullier, in which we read women writers of color from the 20th and 21st centuries and discuss the texts in biweekly meetings.


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Ch. 7 La Conciencia de la Mestiza

The opposite of racial purity is inclusive mestizaje. This creates a certain tolerance for ambiguity that breaks down the subject/object duality. Added to this is a queer possibility to transcend. Nothing happens in the ‘real’ world unless it first happens in the images in our heads. This final section speaks to the imaginative, transformative power … Continue reading Ch. 7 La Conciencia de la Mestiza

Ch. 6 Tlilli, Tlapalli

This chapter is a meta cognitive exercise on the writer and her craft via ethnopoetics and performance of the Shaman This practice does not split artistic/functional, sacred/secular, art/everyday. Religious social and aesthetic purposes of art are all intertwined. The writer, as shape-changer, is a nahual, a shaman. Anzaldua calls ethnocentrism the tyranny of western aesthetics. … Continue reading Ch. 6 Tlilli, Tlapalli

Ch. 5 How to Tame a Wild Tongue

Arguably the most read and anthologized section of this book, How to Tame a Wild Tongue, performs an analysis of language as identity. Anzaldua discusses/challenges her own memories as well as prevailing thoughts on accents, English, and the tradition of silence. She marks language (both English and Spanish) as male discourse, but calls Chicano Spanish … Continue reading Ch. 5 How to Tame a Wild Tongue

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