Light in the Dark/Luz en lo Oscuro

Rewriting Identity, Spirituality, Reality

Light in the Dark/Luz en lo Oscuro

Latin America Otherwise

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Book Pages: 312 Illustrations: 10 illustrations Published: October 2015

American Studies, Chicanx and Latinx Studies, Theory and Philosophy > Feminist Theory

Written during the last decade of her life, Light in the Dark represents the culmination of Gloria E. Anzaldúa's mature thought and the most comprehensive presentation of her philosophy. Throughout, Anzaldúa weaves personal narratives into deeply engaging theoretical readings to comment on numerous contemporary issues—including the September 11 attacks, neocolonial practices in the art world, and coalitional politics. She valorizes subaltern forms and methods of knowing, being, and creating that have been marginalized by Western thought, and theorizes her writing process as a fully embodied artistic and political practice. Resituating Anzaldúa's work within Continental philosophy and new materialism, Light in the Dark takes Anzaldúan scholarship in new directions.


"Published more than a decade after Anzaldúa’s death, the collection of essays is a welcomed resource for scholars and students of Anzaldúa, Chicana/o and Latina/o studies, and American studies. Overall, Anzaldúa’s chapters and Keating’s editorial work are of the highest caliber and great additions to the body of Anzaldúa’s work." — Monica Montelongo Flores, Southwestern American Literature

"[T]he publication of a new book of [Anzaldua's] writing provides a glorious new opportunity to revel in her brilliant mind.... In our contemporary world of intense binary thinking and wall building, Gloria Anzaldúa’s insights provide an inspiring way forward."  — Susan Noyes Platt, Raven Chronicles

"The publication of Gloría Anzaldúa's Light in the Dark/ Luz en lo oscuro: Rewriting Identity, Spirituality, Reality eleven years after her death in 2004 is a highly anticipated—and enormously important—event in feminist scholarship, one that takes both philosophy and activism in new directions. The manuscript ... makes significant philosophical contributions to feminism, epistemology, aesthetics, ontology, critical philosophy of race, and social and political thought at the same time that it calls into question how we conceive of and organize these areas of study to begin with." — Natalie Cisneros, Hypatia Reviews online

"Moving from the intricate Tex-Mex-rootedness of Borderlands to the more spiritual, historical-mythical, liminal negotiation zone of Light in the Darkness, Anzaldúa continues her examination of in-between spaces. Her concept of nepantla enables multiple thematic and stylistic lines to intersect, defining possible spaces of cultural transformation."
  — Romana Radlwimmer, Women's Review of Books

"Throughout Light, Anzaldúa courageously offers up her lived experiences to argue for the importance of spirituality, theories in the flesh, and the female body.... Scholars invested in intellectual praxis will find a powerful guide to social justice inquiry within this publication." — Robert Gutierrez-Perez, Women's Studies in Communication

"Perhaps the book’s greatest strength is Keating’s vast editorial knowledge.... Under Keating’s care, Light in the Dark continues Anzaldúa’s metaphysical philosophies, reiterating, expanding, and inspiring consciousness building and setting innovative directions for future Chicana/o studies.... The text offers a new way of decolonizing the mind, transforming the world, and reaching out into the universe." — Iracema M. Quintero, Aztlán

"Light in the Dark is not only a previously missing piece of Anzaldúa’s oeuvre, important to the growing field of scholarship on Anzaldúa, but also a text that speaks broadly across disciplines and will surely influence scholarship in women’s studies, philosophy, politics, Chicana/o and Latina/o studies, border studies, native studies, sexuality studies and beyond." — Michelle R. Martin-Baron, International Feminist Journal of Politics

"This text would serve as an excellent book in a literature course, and could be used as the capstone of Anzaldúa’s other writings. Keating has done an excellent job of editing this piece—she has made it easy to forget that the work was published after Anzaldúa’s death." — Fawn-Amber Montoya, The Americas

"Gloria E. Anzaldua is one of the most generative and generous thinkers and storytellers in our times. In these rich auto-ethnographies she continues to search for what she calls the 'positive shadows' of personal and collective experience, spirit, and world. Anzaldua has the courage to write inside recesses and crevices to encounter what one does not necessarily want to know, but needs nonetheless to inhabit, tuned to change and possibility. In her unique speaking in entwined tongues, in Spanish and English, she is a multimodal guide in our hard times to 'active imagining' for worlds that may yet be. It is such a pleasure to see this book at last; it makes her legacy vivid when it is most needed." — Donna Haraway, author of When Species Meet

"Ready to move beyond identity politics? Beyond contemporary theories of globalization, decoloniality, feminism, Marxism? Then take this U.S. Third Space/Fourth World Feminist Liberationist ride on Anzaldúan rivers of thought. They carry away outmoded debris. Tributary streams nourish decolonial visions. Shimmering re-cognitions arrive. Perceptual light shifts, wreaking havoc, unleashing floods of liberation philosophy. Dizzy? Take the book’s medicine. It transforms refugees into citizen-chamanas, political co-creators of how we will be known. Anzaldúa wonders: Do you have the yearning, the energizing power of life, the courage to join us?"  — Chela Sandoval, author of Methodology of the Oppressed


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Gloria E. Anzaldúa (1942–2004) was a visionary writer whose work was recognized with many honors, including the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award, a Lambda literary award, the National Endowment for the Arts Fiction Award, and the Bode-Pearson Prize for Outstanding Contributions to American Studies. Her book Borderlands / La frontera was selected as one of the 100 Best Books of the Century by the Hungry Mind Review and the Utne Reader.

AnaLouise Keating, Professor of Women’s Studies at Texas Woman’s University, is the author of Women Reading, Women Writing: Self-Invention in Paula Gunn Allen, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Audre Lorde, Teaching Transformation, and Transformation Now! Toward a Post-Oppositional Politics of Change; editor of Anzaldúa’s Interviews/Entrevistas, The Gloria Anzaldúa Reader, and EntreMundos/AmongWorlds: New Perspectives on Gloria Anzaldúa; and co-editor, with Anzaldúa, of this bridge we call home: radical visions for transformation.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Editor's Introduction. Re-envisioning Coyolxauhqui, Decolonizing Reality: Anzaldúa's Twenty-First-Century Imperative  ix

Preface. Gestures of the Body—Escribiendo para idear  1

1. Let us be the healing of the wound: The Coyolxauhqui imperative—la sombra y el sueño  9

2. Flights of the Imagination: Rereading/Rewriting Realities  23

3. Border Arte: Nepantla, el lugar de la frontera  47

4. Geographies of Selves—Reimagining Identity: Nos/Otras (Us/Other), las Nepantleras, and the New Tribalism  65

5. Putting Coyolxauhqui Together: A Creative Process  95

6. now let us shift . . . conocimiento . . . inner work, public acts  117

Agradecimientos | Acknowledgements 161

Appendix 1. Lloronas Dissertation Material (Proposal, Table of Contents, and Chapter Outline)  165

Appendix 2. Anzaldúa's Health  171

Appendix 3. Unfinished Sections and Additional Notes from Chapter 2  176

Appendix 4. Alternative Opening, Chapter 4  180

Appendix 5. Historical Notes on the Chapters' Development  190

Appendix 6. Invitation and Call for Papers, Testimonios Volume  200

Notes  205

Glossary  241

References  247

Index  257
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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-6009-4 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-5977-7
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