Gloria Anzaldúa’s Enduring Legacy Celebrated in La Bloga

February 28, 2012

Imagine being at a conference… People are sitting on the floor, crammed against the walls, standing outside waiting to see if they can get in or to see if they can at least hear from a distance. There’s a buzz, an excitement about what is being discussed… I’m describing what has occurred at conferences when the topic of Gloria Anzaldúa’s work is discussed.

So begins Amelia M. L. Montes in her recently posted article at La Bloga, “Doing the Work That Matters”—The Society for the Study of Gloria Anzaldúa,” which discusses the formation and importance of the Society for the Study of Gloria Anzaldúa (SSGA). The article describes the heady days when Norma Cantú first realized there was a need for a new conference dedicated to continuing Gloria’s work: “[She] found herself in packed rooms with people from various parts of the United States, Latin America, Europe—all wanting to hear and discuss Anzaldúa’s work.” Cantú realized the conference could not be typical, only for literary academics, but must also welcome poets, artists, linguists and more to fully explore Gloria’s writing.

Montes discusses the “transnational and multi-disciplinary” work that followed in conferences as large as 350 people from 7 different nations. Now the Society for the Study of Gloria Anzaldúa has grown beyond anyone’s expectations: a selection of essays from the 2007 and 2009 meetings were published by Aunt Lute in El Mundo Zurdo, SIGNS: Journal of Women in Culture and Society devoted an entire issue to the SSGA, and essays from the 2010 meeting will soon be published in a new volume of El Mundo Zurdo.

The article notes the enduring importance of Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, first published by Aunt Lute Books in 1987. Now in its 3rd edition, Borderlands continues to inspire and transform 25 years after its groundbreaking ideas entered into print. As Montes puts it, “This experimental book (called “experimental” at its inception due to the use of various writing genres within one text: theoretical, historical, creative inclusive of poetry and memoir) continues to be at the center of these discussions.” Over the next few months, you’ll find weekly quotes about the significance of Borderlands on Aunt Lute’s homepage.

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