Between the borderlands of life and death : a spiritual and intellectual journey towards developing conocimiento
MetadataShow full item record
The personal is political, the political is personal. This mantra has inspired feminist thought for decades because of its emphasis on disclosing the personal in the name of consciousness raising, an important form of feminist activism focused on making what is invisible visible in the spirit of bringing about radical change. Feminist theorist Gloria Anzaldúa's inspirational writings epitomize the transformative power of incorporating the personal in academic theorizing. Her work has encouraged us to not only reimagine what counts as knowledge, but to "risk the personal" in our own writing. My thesis contributes to the burgeoning field of Anzaldúan studies by asserting the value of "risking the personal" in academic writing. I open up, immerse in, and expose my wound as I contend with the greatest rupture in my life yet. On January 23, 2011, merely two years ago, a single phone call broke my heart and soul. My 48 year-old mother was dead. My thesis is an autohistoria-teoría that aims to examine the suffering consciousness that arises when we experience traumatic ruptures that shatter our worlds. Specifically, I use Anzaldúa's theory of conocimiento as an epistemological framework to map my movements in consciousness as I write about my mother's unexpected death. I offer my personal account of grief to shatter the silence around death, revealing the complexity that surrounds and defines loss by giving voice to the marginalized experience of losing a mother as a young woman. I then write about the role of writing in the face of ruptures, arguing that writing is a powerful tool in developing conocimiento. After descending into my wound, I begin my spiritual activism by examining the power of opening ourselves to alternative ways of knowing. I immerse myself in Tibetan Buddhism, embracing its perspectives and contemplating impermanence. All of this in the service of developing conocimiento, a revolutionary mindset dedicated to constant transformation. This transformation is a process of personal and collective healing that acknowledges our interconnectedness. We all experience similar journeys of rupture, pain, and growth. Let us use this connection to improve ourselves, our communities, and our world.