(Trance)formations of an AfroLatina : embodied archives of blackness and womanhood in transnational Dominican women's narratives




Zamora, Omaris Zunilda

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AfroLatina women’s experiences have been left out of the traditional canon of Black and Latina/Chicana feminist theory. Black feminist theory lacks a transnational context and an afro-diasporic approach that acknowledges the multiplicities of blackness (Collins; Crenshaw; Davis; Combahee). Furthermore, Latina/Chicana feminist theory maintains blackness parenthetical and invisible in favor of a Latinidad that is primarily mestiza (Anzaldúa). My dissertation addresses these static theoretical spaces in which AfroLatina women cannot locate themselves. My dissertation recognizes the fluidity of blackness, the centrality of the body, and how transformation informs AfroLatina subjectivities. In acknowledging the spiritual as present in the inter-generational relationships between Dominican women, we understand the multiple transformations that they experience within transnational spaces. I contribute to AfroLatina feminism by offering my own theory of (trance)formation. (Trance)formation is a continuous process that engages with the spiritual aspect of self-making and centralizes the body as an archive for the creation of an AfroLatina feminist epistemology. To further understand this theorization of (trance)formation, I turn to transnational Dominican women’s narratives put forth by Nelly Rosario, Ana Lara, Loida Maritza Perez, Josefina Baez, La Bella Chanel, and Cardi B. My research shows how (trance)formation is 1) a process that is central to the creation of an AfroLatina embodied epistemology, 2) a violent process that allows for multiple belongings, and 3) a process that is performed in order to solidify the production of knowledge proliferated through the body.


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