New Tribalism and Chicana/o Indigeneity in the Work of Gloria Anzaldúa

Domino Renee Perez

in The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature

Published in print September 2014 | ISBN: 9780199914036
Published online May 2014 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

New Tribalism and Chicana/o Indigeneity in the Work of Gloria Anzaldúa

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This article considers Chican@ theorist Gloria Anzaldúa’s struggle to account for what she understood as the Indigenous part of Chican@ identity. Whether she was theorizing mestizaje or “new tribalism” (an extension of the former theory) and in the process inspiring and empowering many people, this struggle remained incomplete and ultimately unsatisfying. Perez situates Anzaldúa’s work within the contexts of Chicano nationalism, Chicana feminism, and Native American and Indigenous studies and discusses the risks of not challenging Anzaldúa’s conceptions of Indigeneity. In addition to a reading of Anzaldúa’s 1987 multigeneric text, The Borderlands (La Frontera), the article considers Rodolfo Gonzales’s epic poem I Am Joaquín (1967), a foundational work in Chicano literature.

Keywords: indigeneity; Gloria Anzaldúa; mestizaje; new tribalism; mixed-bloodedness; Chicanos; Rodolfo Gonzales; Chicano literature; nationalism; The Borderlands

Article.  6920 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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