Bringing Chicana Feminism Into the Gothic Narrative

Date

2024

Authors

Mendoza, Imelda

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore Chicana Feminism in a modern Gothic narrative to reclaim identities of the past that have been lost throughout generations following the Mexican American War. Influenced by Gloria Anzaldua's Borderlands: La Frontera, the creative project expands on the new Mestiza and is set in south Texas following a matrilineal line of curanderas. Taking from classical and contemporary Gothic stories, I rework some of the genre's frameworks into a modern collection of narratives that portray experiences from the South Texas borderlands, a geographic location that has true anachronistic qualities, where both Mexican and Anglo cultures collide and force the people of the land to align with one culture at the detriment of the other. I also attempt to rework the female social contract by first accepting the structures of our past in order to reclaim and overthrow the limitations of self-representations, embracing the darkness that we have been taught to fear (Anzaldúa's serpent, which I will explore in the next section) and nurturing this darkness to heal the cultural and gendered wounds as a metaphor for an oppositional form of consciousness against the new forms of hostility, antagonism and dangers that live between and within cultural spheres.

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Department

English