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Loss, Rumination, and Narrative: Chicana/o Melancholy as Generative State

  • Author(s): Baca, Michelle Patricia
  • Advisor(s): Lomeli, Francisco A
  • et al.

This study examines representations of melancholy in Chicana/o literature. Using theory rooted in Gloria Anzaldúa's Borderlands I contend that, counter to Freud, melancholy is a productive strategy of self-making for Chicana/o subjects. By reading melancholy through a Chicana/o Studies lens I illustrate that there are multiple manifestations of self and subjectivity. Using parallels between several salient images from Freud's "Mourning and Melancholia" and Anzaldúa's Borderlands I trace instances of melancholy in a selection of Chicana/o texts. I begin my study with a brief cultural history of melancholy before discussing the parallels between the energy of melancholy and Anzaldúa's theories. My work is grounded in Chicana/o Studies and I use textual, and historical analysis to illustrate how melancholy is productive rather than pathological.

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