Trans-colonial historiographic praxis: Dis/memberment, memory, and third-space Chicana, Latina, and Caribbean feminist embodied re/membrance
This dissertation examines how the body is history, and, as such, how Third-space women use it to corporeally cartographically re-inscribe themselves into/onto history through a Trans-Colonial Historiographic Embodied Re/membrance. Focusing on Chicana, Latina, and Caribbean Third-space feminisms, I specifically employ Chicana Feminisms as the theoretical foundation through which I establish my own Trans-Colonial theory. I argue that Trans-Colonial Historiographic Embodied Re/membrance is predicated on revolution, movement, and transformation, as I situate myself within an existing Chicana theoretical framework and posit that Chicana theorists' Anzaldúa, Pérez, and Sandoval provide a Third-space feminist historiographic methodology accessible for all women of color. In Borderlands/La Frontera, Gloria Anzaldúa writes, "I am the dialogue between my Self and el espiritu del mundo. I change myself, I change the world" (Anzaldúa 92). Through their embodied textuality and re/membrance, Chicana, Latina, and Caribbean women of color assert that transformative revolutionary change begins with an embodied Self, a change which marks a shift from individual consciousness to collective consciousness and which is predicated on what I call Trans-Colonial Historiographic Embodied Re/membrance. This shift begins with the female body, the very site of and testament to colonial, political, socio-economic, geographic, and temporal oppression, repression, and unfathomable patriarchal violence. I argue that through Trans-Colonial Historiographic Embodied Re/membrance women can transform their bodies as sites of oppression and repression into active sites of revolution through re/membrance. Through my examination of Edwidge Danticat's Breath, Eyes, Memory, Julia Alvarez' In the Name of Salomé, Loida Maritza Pérez' Geographies of Home, and Sandra Cisneros' Caramelo, as framed within the theoretical works of Emma Pérez' Decolonial Imaginary, Chela Sandoval's Methodology of the Oppressed, and Gloria Anzaldúa's Borderlands/La Frontera and "Now Let Us Shift... The Path of Conocimiento...Inner Work, Public Acts," I argue that Third-Space women are engaging in a Trans-Colonial cartographic remapping of their subjectivity as they re-inscribe and reclaim their individual histories and lived experiences through embodied textuality and embodied re/membrance. In dialogue between themselves and the world, they reclaim their bodies in their own terms through a gendered and racialized corporeal re/membrance upon which their textuality and corporeality take root. Their acts of re-visioning and re-writing/re-righting call other women of color to action, to take inventory, to claim their myriad-mindedness, and to come to an embodied consciousness which then becomes an invitation, a testimony, for others to follow suit and do the same. I argue that women of color must re/member themselves, as they were and as they are, if they are to effect real, global, communal changes by re-imagining their individual Selves as Trans-Colonial subjects. Ultimately, my dissertation is about looking back in order to move forward, as I examine how, through Trans-Colonial Embodied Historiographic praxis, women of color have actively engaged in a methodology of corporeal re-visioning, using their bodies as bridges to healing and knowing, and as stepping-stones towards Othered cultural shifts in consciousness.