ABSTRACT

To what extent can the phenomena of métissage and mestizaje be read as intersecting threads of a multilingual, hemispheric American story? And what do their divergences and convergences contribute to a discourse of comparison? This paper argues that métissage and mestizaje relate nonequivalent theories of wovenness in their local contexts and in relation to transnational decolonial praxes. This paper reads a resignification of mestizaje in Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (1987) that both embraces hybridity and reinstates a linear, teleological—and settler colonial—theory of materialities. By contrast, the narration in Gisèle Pineau’s memorial novel L’Exil selon Julia (1996) invokes métissage as a body-place wovenness through her grandmother Julia’s Antillean Creole orality, locating a kincentric ecological literacy in her relations with her beloved jardin créole. This paper then weaves these two readings together with Leslie Marmon Silko’s novel Ceremony (1977)—which, although activated neither by métissage nor mestizaje, narrates a common theory of woven matter-energy relationality in the Pueblo language and cosmology that structure Silko’s English language text. Weaving/reading hemispheric land and literature proposes a critical turning toward place-based literariness, engages multispecies kinship ontologies, and ultimately orients comparison toward kinetic theories of wovenness and with a responsibility to narrative and material story-weavings of the hemisphere.

You do not currently have access to this content.