Through a framework of Black and Chicana feminist theories, including intersectionality and nepantla, I argue in this dissertation that feminist science fiction authors engage and expose complex bodily issues that impact women in the United States, issues that specifically relate to racial identity, sexuality, and reproduction, and that these authors utilize the conventions of science fiction to create literature that portrays resistance by women of color against bodily oppressions. The theories of intersectionality and nepantla together create a feminist framework that examines the structural implications of oppression while also creating modes of resistance. Utilizing the Black and Chicana feminist scholarship of Gloria Anzaldúa, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Emma Pérez, Dorothy Roberts, Chela Sandoval, as well as others, I examine feminist science fiction texts and each author's construction of the narratives of women of color characters. The science fiction texts by Gloria Anzaldúa, Octavia Butler, Tananarive Due, and Phyllis Alesia Perry address the internalized, personal oppressions and experiences for women of color as they concurrently address systemic and cultural confrontations of characters with white heteropatriarchal society in the US. Feminist science fiction authors such as those discussed within this dissertation employ feminist theoretical notions within their works to simultaneously articulate the realities and possibilities related to the bodily oppressions of women of color within the US while also theorizing the potential outcomes of resistance by women to such oppressions.
For me, I chose an author who is very close to my heart and a theme that I have been very interested in for a while. I have chosen to study the role of women in matrimony in two novels by Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She is a feminist writer who explores the stories of women living in a post-revolutionary independent Nigeria. My mother and her brothers were brought up in Nigeria during this period and so I have always had a connection and a keen interest in the country and its literature. My mother introduced me to Adichie’s literature when it was published in the early 2000’s. Since then, there has been a large amount of academic attention on her work with many critics hailing her as the new voice of African literature.
I explain how this conflict can be resolved by adding to Gloria Anzaldúa's notion of mestizaje to develop my own theory, a mestizaje of epistemologies, a survival strategy employed by Latinas in US institutions of learning. I propose that what I am calling a mestizaje of epistemologies, a balance of multiple knowledges, is utilized by certain protagonists and authors of Latina literature and testimonios as a means of retaining ties to their cultures and succeeding in school. I demonstrate how this theory is also a pedagogy that can be employed in the classroom. A mestizaje of epistemologies emerges from the theoretical concepts of Chela Sandoval, Emma Pérez, Laura Rendón, Paulo Freire, and Michel Foucault. An analysis of Latina literature utilizing a mestizaje of epistemologies reveals that the education/educación conflict is often, though not always, experienced by Latinas once introduced to assimilationist strategies, including the binary thought process of the US education system. Latinas experience alienation and confusion of identity marked by the education/educación conflict due to such binary thinking. I propose that a mestizaje of epistemologies is necessary to help Latinas resist dualistic ways of thinking, weave multiple epistemologies, and heal.
This dissertation explores what I call the education/educación conflict as it is experienced and examined by Latinas in history, literature, and education through testimonios. I define this conflict as a Latina's inability to balance multiple epistemologies and identities and offer a possible solution by adding to the theories of Chicana Third Space Feminism and Critical Race Theory.
Third Space Chicana Feminists invite an alternative reading of the historical, social, personal, and political experiences of marginalized identities, as a means to challenge colonizing and linear narratives, theories, and texts. Diverging from the homogeneity of the first and second wave Feminist movements, Third Space Chicana Feminism articulates what Chela Sandoval explains as a "theory of difference" that allows for the visibility of one's gender, race, culture, or class. Chicana Feminists draw attention to an in-between social category defined as a Third Space in order to reject prevailing hegemonic classifications of otherness and marginality. My dissertation project elaborates Chicana Feminists assertion of Third Space to include the experiences of Mexican-American students and the construction of a Third Space classroom. Theorizing my lived experiences as a South Texas Chicana English-Composition instructor, I propose that the origins of this Eurocentric and homogenous discipline must be reevaluated in order to dismantle existing and oppressive theories, practices, and pedagogies that silence the agency of Third Space subjects, or Mexican-Americans; a population I define as U.S. citizens of Mexican ancestry descent. I argue that the theories of Third Space Chicana Feminists provide new methodologies for decolonizing the classroom and developing pedagogies that address the population of Mexican-American students. To better support this position, I introduce alternative ways of theorizing students' spaces by means of analyzing Mexican-American literature and films that center on the educational experiences of Mexican-American bodies. Finally, I conclude with a conversation on Third Space Chicana Feminists' praxis and how those theories can strengthen the discipline of English-Composition as evident in an analysis of Laura I. Rendón's sentipensante pedagogy and my interpretation of a pedagogy of the barrio .
Because global communication demands greater rhetorical/linguistic flexibility than the monocultural and monolingual academic writing model ("Standard" Edited American English and "standard" discourses) supplies, and because the testimonios of authors such as Gloria Anzaldúa, Victor Villanueva, and Keith Gilyard reveal the scarring that occurs when an individual's home language is denigrated, this dissertation argues that university writing centers must take the lead in encouraging the academy to recognize and value global Englishes and alternative discourses as valid rhetorical alternatives. Notably, writing center theorists such as Nancy Grimm, Elizabeth Boquet, and Rebecca Jackson have begun re-imagining the writing center as a counter-hegemonic space via counter-narratives. However, in addition to modifying internal writing center operations (e.g. tutor training and tutorial protocols), writing centers must re-imagine external writing center relationships with faculty, replacing the academy's top-down, interpellation model with collaboration among the university's writing partners. The metaphor of the writing center as a bodega in the ecological landscape of the university provides a meaningful and local way of conceptualizing this new paradigm for writing centers (and ultimately the university as a whole) as a panethnic, heteroglossic, communal, and transgressive third space--both a part of a larger system but apart from it. By shifting academic focus from the production of one hegemonic (big-box) product to the acquisition of (meta)knowledge of "standard" and global Englishes, alternative rhetorics, and linguistic, visual, and oral literacies, not only will the U.S. academy be accommodating a global world but also rejecting its legacy of linguistic imperialism.
I first describe how early modern English writers imaged the global spice trade. Their imaginative acts contributed to a process of emergence, qualitatively changing the commodity of spice into the visualizing instrument of spyce. Subsequent chapters address four more patterns that give rise to spyce : the visual intensive continuums that generate images of food, place, and race in nineteenth-century cookbooks; the distributed topology of food images at the local, regional, and global scales, as illustrated in Cherríe Moraga's play Watsonville (2002); the embodiment of food images in food-based literature by Maya Angelou, Isabel Allende, and Chitra Divakaruni; the enaction of alliances at the personal scale through the Slow Food movement's design strategies.
My study has two main objectives. First, I intervene in the utilization of a separatist/ integrationist binary as the dominant framework for examining nineteenth-century African American nationalism. Not only does this binary circumscribe the nationalist implications of portrayals of Haiti in early African American men's literature, it further excises African American women's domestic literatures from the oeuvre of early African American nationalist literatures. I suggest that reading these texts in their original Black print contexts offers a perspective of gendered Black national debate significantly more nuanced and dynamic than perceptions available through a separatist/ integrationist dichotomy. Second, I seek to account for the ways that African American women constructed Black protofeminist national identities by tropologically and rhetorically disidentifying with Black men's constructions of Haiti and the Haitian Revolution. I argue that nineteenth-century African American women's troping of domesticity and rhetorical refiguring of the politics of respectable womanhood form heteroglossic and resilient nationalist paradigms for a Black feminist revolution.
Not Flesh of Empire examines literature by contemporary Puerto Rican women writers living in the United States for the presence of a psycholocal expression born of their ontological experiences that leads to new conceptualizations of discourse, space, mental navigations, and enfleshment. Utilizing a third space feminist framework, this dissertation draws on spatial cognition studies to trace out how this expression enables an ontological analysis that is visible within specific literary texts. It concludes by defining the value of these remappings for subverting oppressive power structures as well as reconceptualizing ontological potential for Puerto Rican women in the new millennium.
African American men's literary representations of the Haitian Revolution and its Black leaders in the early nineteenth century have a prominent presence in African American circulating print media from 1816-1865. That African American writers would turn to leaders such as the emancipated Toussaint Louverture as sources for their creative literary productions prior to the end of the United States Civil War should come as little surprise. Less certain, however, is the extent to which nineteenth-century African American men's representations of Haiti figured in forming early African American national identities and models for a successful US Black revolution. And, perhaps most uncertain, is how we should interpret early African American women authors' pointed decisions not to create concomitant literary interpretations of Haiti while writing for the same periodicals as their Black male contemporaries. This dissertation unearths a gendered national debate between nineteenth-century African American men's literary identification with the Haitian Revolution and African American women's pointed disidentification with revolutionary Haiti through their figuring of protofeminist nationalisms. To do so, I turn to independent Black print media in which African American women's and men's literatures most closely interact; this includes periodicals such as Freedom's Journal, the Provincial Freeman, the Anglo-African Magazine, and the Christian Recorder, as well as a number of African American authored pamphlets and speeches.
My dissertation seeks to decolonize the modern account of New Mexico in atomic history and U.S. national myth by recovering the polyphony of voices of the men and women who were displaced and effaced by the scientific empire known today as the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The U.S. emerged as a world power after WWII as a result of the atomic bomb, and New Mexico was central to the development of atomic weaponry. The history of Los Alamos has been presented through nationalist discourse of an "American" city that was born overnight, which ignores how Indigenous people and Hispanas/os were forcefully removed from the land and became subjects of modernity. That is, under modernity, different forms of life were destroyed--human and non-human life. Indigenous, Hispana/o, and white locals were forced, through the necessities of a modernist political economy, to become workers at "The Lab." These people and their land have been permanently diseased by nuclear waste and dis-eased by the racism and classism that has pervaded the region. The U.S. government intended to emancipate U.S. residents from war, including New Mexicans. However, Los Alamos's role in the Manhattan Project and the U.S. government's reorganization of local epistemologies and hierarchies forced local people of color into subordinate positions in national discourse, and the critical thinking from this level "below" modernity was erased. My project draws from and extends labor historiographies and historiographies of industrialization of Los Alamos by examining testimonios and multiethnic literature by and about Chicana/o, Native American, Chinese American, Japanese, African American people for the purpose of contesting the master narrative and spatial poetics of this place. By introducing previously silenced voices to relay an alternative story of Los Alamos, I map a new epistemology of nuclear coloniality in northern New Mexico that may then be applied to other locations where nuclear coloniality has occurred. The term "coloniality" refers to the power structures that emerged from colonialism instead of focusing on the process of colonization itself.