Contemporary Chicano/a Literature Criticism: Chicana Studies - Essay

Kristin Carter-Sanborn (essay date spring-summer 1999)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Carter-Sanborn, Kristin. “Tongue-Tied: Chicana Feminist Textual Politics and the Future of Chicano/Chicana Studies.” Genre 32, nos. 1-2 (spring-summer 1999): 73-83.

[In the following essay, Carter-Sanborn addresses the tension between white feminism and Chicano/a nationalism evident in the writings of some Chicana authors and discusses how the works of Cherríe Moraga and Ana Castillo transcend this dualism.]

Few who are acquainted with recent Chicana literary and critical production would dispute its status as an activity with political implications and consequences. What gets elided in begging the question of politics, however, is the very real, specific,...

(The entire section is 4244 words.)

Phillipa Kafka (essay date 2000)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Kafka, Phillipa. “Re-Shaping Religious and Cultural Mythologies.” In (Out)Classed Women: Contemporary Chicana Writers on Inequitable Gendered Power Relations, pp. 81-98. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2000.

[In the following essay, Kafka traces the revisionist treatment of such female mythical figures as Malinche, La Llorona, and the Virgen de Guadalupe in works by Sandra Cisneros, Margarita Cota-Cárdenas, and other Chicana writers.]

One of the earliest responses to “the monolithic androcentrism” (Pratt 1993, 863) of the La Raza movement was the manifesto Chicanas Speak Out. Chicanas called for the destruction of religious and cultural myths...

(The entire section is 10148 words.)

Silvio Sirias and Richard McGarry (essay date summer 2000)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Sirias, Silvio, and Richard McGarry. “Rebellion and Tradition in Ana Castillo's So Far from God and Sylvia López-Medina's Cantora.MELUS 25, no. 2 (summer 2000): 83-100.

[In the following essay, Sirias and McGarry examine two novels—Ana Castillo's So Far from God and Sylvia López-Medina's Cantora—that offer contrasting views of the cultural situation of Chicanas.]

The Chicana “voice” in literature, according to Ramón Saldívar, comprises a discourse that creates “an instructive alternative to the exclusively phallocentric subject of contemporary Chicano narrative” (175). As Cordelia Chávez Candelaria reports,...

(The entire section is 7048 words.)

Ralph E. Rodriguez (essay date spring 2002)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Rodriguez, Ralph E. “Cultural Memory and Chicanidad: Detecting History, Past and Present, in Lucha Corpi's Gloria Damasco Series.” Contemporary Literature 43, no. 1 (spring 2002): 138-69.

[In the following essay, Rodriguez analyzes Lucha Corpi's three Gloria Damasco detective novels, focusing on what they reveal about the formation of Chicano/a identity and the transmission of Chicano/a history.]

Prior to the 1990s, the detective novel had been a little-explored literary form among Chicana/o writers. Over the last decade, however, they have taken to the genre with great energy, and a long tradition of American detective novels now counts some twenty-odd...

(The entire section is 12333 words.)

Astrid M. Fellner (essay date 2002)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Fellner, Astrid M. “Migratory Subjectivities.” In Articulating Selves: Contemporary Chicana Self-Representation, pp. 111-40. Vienna: Braumüller, 2002.

[In the following excerpt, Fellner emphasizes the key role of language and translation in the process of self-definition undergone by María in Demetria Martínez's Mother Tongue.]

The bridge I must be
Is the bridge to my own power
I must translate
My own fears
My own weaknesses
I must be the bridge to nowhere
But my true self
And then
I will be useful

—Donna Kate Rushin1

Demetria Martínez was born and raised in Albuquerque NM. She now lives...

(The entire section is 8458 words.)

Maria Antònia Oliver-Rotger (essay date 2003)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Oliver-Rotger, Maria Antònia. Introduction to Battlegrounds and Crossroads: Social and Imaginary Space in Writings by Chicanas, pp. 21-62. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2003.

[In the following excerpt, Oliver-Rotger interprets Anzaldúa's Borderlands in light of postmodern critical theory, especially that of Jacques Derrida, noting Anzaldúa's seminal role in illuminating Chicana marginalization.]

The border is the border, and it would not make any sense to divide it into sides. It is the place that it is, the country that it is, because of the influence and the inbreeding of the Mexican and the North American cultures.


(The entire section is 8200 words.)