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Monstrosity, Performance, and Race in Contemporary Culture

Bernadette Marie Calafell

In a society that increasingly touts post-racial and post-feminist discourses, the trope of monstrosity becomes a way to critically examine contemporary meanings around race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability. Focusing on ways in which historically marginalized groups appropriate monstrosity as a means of resistance, as well as on how we can understand oppression and privilege through monstrosity, this book offers another way to conceptualize the politics of representation. Through critical analyses of experiences of women of color in the academy, the media framing of alleged Aurora shooter James Holmes, the use of monstrosity in unpublished work from the Gloria Anzaldúa archives, post-feminist discourses in American Mary and The Lords of Salem, and Kanye West’s strategic employment of ideologies of monstrosity, this book offers new ways to think about Otherness in this contemporary moment.
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Chapter 3. Chicana Feminist Legacies of Monstrosity in the Gloria Anzaldúa Archive

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CHICANA FEMINIST LEGACIES OF MONSTROSITY IN THE GLORIA ANZALDúA ARCHIVE1

“With terror as my companion, I dip into my life and begin work on myself. Where did it begin, the pain, the images that haunt me?”

(Gloria Anzaldúa qtd. in Keating, The Gloria Anzaldúa Reader 39)

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