Book

Encarnacion

Suzanne Bost

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780823230846
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241101 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823230846.001.0001
Encarnacion

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This book takes a new look at identity. Following the contemporary movement away from the fixed categories of identity politics toward a more fluid conception of the intersections between identities and communities, the book analyzes the ways in which literature and philosophy draw boundaries around identity. The works of Gloria Anzaldúa, Cherríe Moraga, and Ana Castillo, in particular, enable us to examine how identities shift and intersect with others through processes of incarnation. Since the 1980s, critics have come to equate these writers with Chicana feminist identity politics. This critical trend, however, has been unable to account for these writers' increasing emphasis on bodies that are sick, disabled, permeable, and, oftentimes, mystical. The book thus turns our attention to aspects of these writers' work that are usually ignored. Concerned equally with the medical-surgical interventions available in our postmodern age and with the ways of understanding bodies in the Native American and Catholic traditions these writers invoke, the book develops a model for identity that expands beyond the boundaries of individual bodies. It argues that this model has greater utility for feminism than identity politics because it values human variability, sensation, and openness to others. The methodology of the study is as permeable as the bodies and identities it analyzes. The book brings together discourses as disparate as Mesoamerican anthropology, art history, feminist spirituality, feminist biology, phenomenology, postmodern theory, disability studies, and autobiographical narrative.

Keywords: identity; communities; boundaries; incarnation; Chicana feminist; identity politics; Gloria Anzaldúa; Cherríe Moraga; Ana Castillo; feminism

Book.  256 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literature

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