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Mulcaxitl: A Performance of Chicana Methodology

Linda Frances Garcia-Merchant, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Mulcaxitl: A Performance of Chicana Methodology explores examples of transgenerational activism, woven together with the author’s own experiments in translational witness and transformational performances, to offer a model of a Chicana performative method less by prescription than by enactment in the rhetorical spaces of the dissertation. It first presents a definition of the concept of non-linearity in learning and activism through the analysis of historical immersion and the translation of witness. A seminar class on the history of Digital Humanities offers, in the second chapter, an example of an ontology that includes fragments of indigenous data to be witnessed and translated as well as a place-based, auto-ethnographic pedagogical approach within a Makers Space. Chapter Three analyses two auto-ethnographic and ethnographic historical immersions—Chicana Diasporic: A Nomadic Journey of the Activist Exiled, a media-rich web experience articulating complex ideas of memory, rememory, spatiotemporality, and diasporic ideology alongside the important work of the Chicana Caucus of the National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC); and the Sisterhood Salon/Salon de Hermandad, a day-long installation implementing Gertrude Stein’s theory of landscape theater to create a panoramic immersion into the history of women of color involvement at the 1977 International Women’s Year National Women’s Conference in Houston Texas. A comparative analysis of Gina Apostol’s novel Insurrecto and Idanna Pucci’s autobiographical novel, The Trial of Maria Barbella concludes the dissertation, showing how these works enact and describe instances of the witness as cultural translator performing interventions to interrupt dominant historical narratives. The Chicana experience of intervention cultivates an identity that Apostol defines as the alter-native, situated between the indigenous and colonized worlds, or what Alicia Gaspar de Alba describes as an alter-culture that is both changed by and changes the dominant culture.

Subject Area

Ethnic studies|Modern literature

Recommended Citation

Garcia-Merchant, Linda Frances, "Mulcaxitl: A Performance of Chicana Methodology" (2020). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI28001291.