Thirty Years of Chicana/Latina Lesbian Literary Production

Authored by: Alicia Gaspar de Alba

The Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature

Print publication date:  August  2012
Online publication date:  October  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415666060
eBook ISBN: 9780203097199
Adobe ISBN: 9781136221613


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When women of color, Third World feminists, and lesbians started calling out the second wave of the women’s movement for its exclusions of race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, and other forms of difference, they initiated what we now refer to as third wave feminism, with names like Audre Lorde, Barbara Christian, Barbara Smith, Trinh T. Minh-ha, María Lugones, Chela Sandoval, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Cherríe Moraga at the forefront of those critiques. In Chicano/a studies, the last two names began to dominate the discourse in the 1980s to the degree that they have become synonymous with both Chicana feminism and Chicana lesbian identity, and in some circles, tokenized as the only writers of their kind. A survey of the last 30 years of Chicana/Latina literary production reveals that not only are there more than two Chicana lesbian writers, but also that Chicana feminists and Chicana lesbians have been charting a new course for the field of Chicano/a studies since 1981. This vanguard in the field makes sexuality as central to the discussion of gender, as race and class are to a discussion of colonialism.

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