Rhetorics of Nepantla, Memory, and the Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa Papers: Archival Impulses explores the intersection of Chicana/o/x studies, Latina/o/x studies, archival studies, and public memory by examining the archival homes of cultural critic Gloria Anzaldúa. This book illustrates how her archive mirrors her philosophy of theories of the flesh and contains objects that, when placed together by the rhetor, perform the embodied ways of knowing of which she writes. Anzaldúa’s archive is a generative space that requires a rhetorical perspective that is expansive, intersectional, and flexible enough to handle interactions between the objects found within and across archives. This book provides an account of how to discuss these interactions in theoretically and experientially meaningful ways. From the analysis of Anzaldúa’s public speeches, the parallels between her birth certificate and creative writing, the planning documents of the 1995 Entre Américas: El Taller Nepantla artist retreat, and more, the author contributes to the fields of archival methods, gender studies, Anzaldúan scholarship, public memory, and rhetorical studies by illustrating why engaging the archives of women of color matters.
Diana Isabel Martínez is associate professor of communication at Pepperdine University.
Conclusion: Archival Impulses
This book has many strengths, but Diana Isabel Martínez’s translation of Anzaldúa’s theories and centering of marginalized voices is an especially significant contribution to current scholarship. Most importantly, Martínez focuses on an Anzaldúan methodology for understanding the voices of marginalized communities through the performative, narrative storytelling, and sharing of experiences that curates the rhetorical space in-between the creative process and the memorialization of its tangible lived presence.