Latina Women

*Guidelines: 2.5 to 3 pages, double-spaced, no need for extra title page or works cited page. Make sure to engage at least three readings from this week’s list of readings. Respond to two out of the four multi-part question options based on some of this week’s readings (So all of I. and II. or all of II. and IV. etc.). Do not write it in essay format; use the numbers and create short responses that are about a paragraph long each.    I. “Guadalupe the Sex Goddess” & “Bruja Positionalities” 1. How did the author being taught she should emulate the Virgin of Guadalupe, a mestiza Virgin Mary figure, impact her sexual sense of self and her sexual behavior? In conversation with “Bruja Positionalities” and/or “Goddess of the Americas” (from week 5), how does Cisneros navigate the racialized good girl v. bad woman dichotomy (aka “virtuous virgen” v. “pagan puta” dichotomy) in her life? 2. How does Cisneros resist what she experiences as oppressive Catholic teachings? How does she heal/transform/decolonize the internalized split between spirituality and sexuality to carve out her own definitions? (hint: what is the impact of learning about Nahua “goddesses” and reclaiming indigenous worldviews?) II. “Bruja Positionalities/Brujandera” & “Queeranderismo” & “Trans Motherhood” 1) What is Irene Lara’s (lol, me, your prof) main argument in this essay? How does she integrate sentipensate “autohistoria” (personal narrative connected to community histories, as modeled by Gloria Anzaldúa) to create  “theory in the flesh” (as Cherríe Moraga also discusses in insisting on the validity of reflecting on experience to create knowledge)?  2) Why do you think Lara blends bruja and curandera to ultimately argue for a “Brujandera” positionality? How is Brujandera similar to and different from a “Bruja” positionality” or “Curandera” positionality”? What does this contribute to an understanding of Latina/x spiritualities and sexualities? 3) What can the work by Berenice Dimas and Mey Rude contribute to the concept of “bruja” or “brujandera” positionalities and, vice versa, how does the concept of “bruja” or “brujandera” positionalities help us interpret Dimas’ and Rude’s work? III. “Queeranderismo” & “Trans Motherhood” & “Nepantla Spirituality” 1. Berenice Dimas bravely enacts and calls for “queeranderismo [a blending of “queer” and “curanderismo”], “the process of “open conversations [with self and others] about domestic violence and… intimate-partner violence in queer relationships” and doing so from the context of “generational sexual trauma and its relation to how we develop and explore our sexual desire” (79).  a. In conversation with Lara Medina’s figuration of a “nepantla spirituality” as carving out a path for healing, what do you think Dimas means by “I was a curandera [healer] before birth/And I am a curandera now” (77)? b. How is Berenice Dimas putting “curanderismo in motion for queer cuerpos y espíritus” (79)? And what is the significance of doing so given the legacy of heteropatriarchal modern-colonial violence, both enacted on and internalized by Latina/x “queer cuerpos y espirítus” (79)? c. Place the poem in conversation with Mey Valdivia Rude’s essay on trans motherhood and being a bruja.  What does Rude add to this discussion of the need for “queeranderismo” and the value of addressing Latina/x sexualities alongside spiritualities across cisgender and transgender identities?    IV. “Panocha Pláticas” Zine 1. The zine’s creators assert that there is transformative power in personally and socially “healing sex and sexuality in the community” as practiced in the “Panocha Pláticas” rather than only engaging in individual or one-on-one healing work (with a therapist for example). They also intentionally integrate spirituality and attention to one’s whole “bodymindspirit” in this process. What are your sentipensamientos about their approach? What are some of the potential benefits and limits?  Engage with specific examples. 2. Answer at least three of the Panocha Plática zine (mini-magazine) questions of your choosing and discuss your sentipensamientos about your process of engaging the zine/reflecting on these questions. 3. Also, in light of our Latina/x in las Américas course and learning goals AND the other readings from this week, briefly discuss what else you think should be included in an updated edition of the zine and why (e.g. a revised Introduction, additional question, resources, artwork, etc.)

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