Disability & the Global South
The Critical Institute
Gloria Anzaldúa’s writing has been read as decolonial based on her resistance to dominant national, racial, and cultural formations. This essay turns to unpublished documents from the Gloria Anzaldúa archive that are decolonial at a more fundamental level. In autobiographical writings about her own experiences with disability, as well as doodles and figure drawings, the alternate forms of human life that Anzaldúa depicts defy the logics of identification and differentiation that underlie colonial hierarchies. Refusing to fix bodies with labels, Anzaldúa accepted mystical encounters and inter-species minglings without judgment. She experienced her own disabling conditions (including a severe hormone imbalance and Type 1 diabetes) in the epistemological fold between medical diagnoses (which enforce the coloniality of power, knowledge, and being) and trans-corporeal perceptions that defy empirical analysis. I analyze the ways in which these more capacious ways of being resonate with recent developments in posthumanist theory and disability ethics.
Bost, Suzanne. Irrational Bodies, Emerging Beings: Disability and Decoloniality in Anzaldúan Thought. Disability & the Global South, 6, 1: 1562-1580, 2019. Retrieved from Loyola eCommons, English: Faculty Publications and Other Works,
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© Bost, 2019.