Gloria Anzaldúa Criticism - Essay

Yvonne Yarbro-Bejarano (essay date fall 1994)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Yarbro-Bejarano, Yvonne. “Gloria Anzaldúa's Borderlands/La Frontera: Cultural Studies, ‘Difference,’ and the Non-Unitary Subject.” In Contemporary American Women Writers: Gender, Class, Ethnicity, edited by Lois Parkinson Zamora, pp. 11-31. New York: Addison Wesley Longman Limited, 1998.

[In the following essay, originally published in a 1994 issue of Cultural Critique, Yarbro-Bejarano discusses Anzaldúa's theory of mestiza or border consciousness in relation to the theory of difference and the mixed critical reaction to Borderlands/La Frontera.]

In 1979, Audre Lorde denounced the pernicious practice of the ‘Special Third World...

(The entire section is 8520 words.)

Ann E. Reuman (essay date 1995)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Reuman, Ann E. “‘Wild Tongues Can't Be Tamed’: Gloria Anzaldúa's (R)evolution of Voice.” In Violence, Silence, and Anger: Women's Writing as Transgression, edited by Deirdre Lashgari, pp. 305-19. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1995.

[In the following essay, Reuman asserts that Anzaldúa utilizes her voice to protest injustices against women and people of color and ranks the author as a bold and valuable figure in the modern literary world.]

But it was the glint
of steel at her throat
that cut through
to her voice.
She would not be
silent and still.
She would live,

—Lorna Dee Cervantes, Emplumada...

(The entire section is 6068 words.)

Marcus Embry (essay date 1996)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Embry, Marcus. “Cholo Angels in Guadalajara: The Politics and Poetics of Anzaldúa's Borderlands/La Frontera.Women & Performance 8, no. 2 (1996): 87-108.

[In the following essay, Embry explores issues of Chicana cultural and sexual identity in Borderlands/La Frontera.]


When introducing an upper-level undergraduate course in Chicana/o or Latina/o Studies, there is a high probability that Gloria Anzaldúa's Borderlands/La Frontera will be among the texts to which many students have already been exposed. Despite the book's popularity and use in a variety of courses, Borderlands/La...

(The entire section is 8233 words.)

Diane L. Fowlkes (essay date spring 1997)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Fowlkes, Diane L. “Moving from Feminist Identity Politics to Coalition Politics through a Feminist Materialist Standpoint of Intersubjectivity in Gloria Anzaldúa's Borderland/La Frontera: The New Mestiza.Hypatia 12, no. 2 (spring 1997): 105-24.

[In the following essay, Fowlkes maintains that Borderlands/La Frontera “develops and presents a form of subjectivity and the needed standpoint that prepare the ground for using feminist identity politics to build feminist coalitions.”]

When the Combahee River Collective proclaimed its new practice of feminist identity politics (1978), it was acting as part of a grassroots movement that would...

(The entire section is 8446 words.)

Ian Barnard (essay date spring 1997)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Barnard, Ian. “Gloria Anzaldúa's Queer Mestisaje.MELUS 22, no. 1 (spring 1997): 35-53.

[In the following essay, Barnard examines Anzaldúa's utilization of queer theory in Borderlands/La Frontera.]

In the 1992 “queer issue” of The Village Voice, Dennis Cooper quotes Johnny Noxzema and Rex Boy characterizing the Canadian publication BIMBOX, which Noxzema and Rex Boy edited:

You are entering a gay and lesbian-free zone. … Effective immediately, BIMBOX is at war against lesbians and gays. A war in which modern queer boys and queer girls are united against the prehistoric thinking and...

(The entire section is 7541 words.)

Sonia Saldívar-Hull (essay date 2000)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Saldívar-Hull, Sonia. “Mestiza Consciousness and Politics: Gloria Anzaldúa's Borderlands/La Frontera.” In Feminism on the Border: Chicana Gender Politics and Literature, pp. 59-79. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.

[In the following essay, Saldívar-Hull elucidates Anzaldúa's theory of mestiza consciousness in Borderlands/La Frontera, viewing it as an articulation of “the politics of feminism on the border.”]

Who, me confused? Ambivalent? Not so. Only your labels split me.

—Gloria Anzaldúa, “La Prieta,” in This Bridge Called My Back


(The entire section is 8169 words.)

Maria Antònia Oliver Rotger (essay date 2001)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Rotger, Antònia Oliver Maria. “‘Sangre Fértil’/Fertile Blood: Migratory Crossings, War and Healing in Gloria Anzaldúa's Borderlands/La Frontera.” In Dressing Up for War: Transformations of Gender and Genre in the Discourse and Literature of War, edited by Aranzazu Usandizaga and Andrew Monnickendam, pp. 189-211. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2001.

[In the following essay, Rotger uses the term “sangre fértil” to describe Anzaldúa's ability to speak from a borderland position between a variety of cultures, languages, and perspectives and discusses the author's creation of a new consciousness as a feminist and political activist.]

In her elegy “Para...

(The entire section is 7967 words.)

Norma Alarcón (essay date 2003)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Alarcón, Norma. “Anzaldúa's Frontera: Inscribing Gynetics.” In Chicana Feminisms: A Critical Reader, edited by Gabriela F. Arredondo, Aída Hurtado, Norma Klahn, Olga Nájera-Ramírez, and Patricia Zavella, pp. 354-69. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2003.

[In the following essay, Alarcón analyzes the role of Anzaldúa's theory of mestiza consciousness in her attempt to repossess the borderlands in Borderlands/La Frontera.]


In our time the very categorical and/or conceptual frameworks through which we explicitly or implicitly perceive our sociopolitical realities and our own...

(The entire section is 6387 words.)

Hector A. Torres (essay date 2004)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Torres, Hector A. “Genre, Gender, and Mestiza Consciousness in the Work of Gloria Anzaldúa.” Contemporary Literary Criticism 200, edited by Jeffrey William Hunter, 2004.

[In the following essay, specially commissioned for Contemporary Literary Criticism, Torres situates Anzaldúa's work within the cultural context of postmodernism via the literary and philosophical concept of mestizaje.]

“… this is where the new mestiza comes in … now, in these postmodern times we do not have to adhere to a windows and doors closed identity that remains in the Chicano community. We can be transcultural. The very concept of...

(The entire section is 9494 words.)