Rebeca Hey-Colon, Colby College and Tala Khanmalek, Princeton University | Newberry

Rebeca Hey-Colon, Colby College and Tala Khanmalek, Princeton University

Friday, March 9, 2018


Borderlands and Latino/a Studies Seminar

Rebeca Hey-Colon–Anzaldúa y Yemayá: Unraveling the Cultural Threads of Water

This paper traces the presence of Yemayá, an Afro-diasporic deity connected to both rivers and oceans, in Gloria Anzaldúa’s published and unpublished writing. It proposes that Yemayá’s presence in Anzaldúa’s corpus is an important example of her search for a cultural and spiritual knowledge that advanced her visions of a decolonial world, a knowledge that is more resonant with the fluidity of water rather than with the nationally demarcated nature of land. By establishing a conversation between Anzaldúa and Yemayá the paper also seeks to foster new connections between Anzaldúan thought and Caribbean and African Diaspora Studies.

Tala Khanmalek–Open Wounds: Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands La Frontera and the 1917 Bath Riots

My paper examines Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands La Frontera: The New Mestiza in which she describes the US-Mexico border as “una herida abierta,” or an open wound, alongside El Paso Times coverage of the 1917 Bath Riots, a women-led protest against mandatory delousing at the El Paso Immigration Station. I argue that wounding is central to the Anzaldúan concept of borderlands as a lived experience situated squarely within the flesh by highlighting an earlier regime of border control, and how the very racialized and sexualized bodies it sought to fix and fracture became sites of resistance to biopolitcal subjection.

Cost and Registration Information 

Newberry Scholarly Seminars are pre-circulated. For a copy of the paper, email Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.