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Transcending Place in Bodies: Queer Feeling in Indigenous & Latinx Women's Writing


This paper considers the works of poets Deborah A. Miranda and Natalie Diaz, from what is now known as the U.S. West and Southwest. I argue that their explorations of feeling at a corporeal level work to map newly imagined definitions of selfhood and geography, separate from the restrictions of federally constructed notions of Indigeneity and the erasures that occur in nationally constructed ideas of mestizaje. By reading their poetry as a language of queer feeling, I argue that they communicate a bodily knowledge that translates itself through the erotic. Through this intimate realm, Diaz and Miranda create new modes of defining place beyond the familiarity of their native California and Arizona, respectively. Both also consider new explorations of Indigenous identity and the decolonial possibility while challenging universal notions of space, time, and language that work to erase their own histories and lived experiences.

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