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Experimental Queer Autobiography in America and Beyond

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Organizer: Anna Kozak

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In 1987, Chicana writer and activist Gloria Anzaldúa published the highly influential Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, an experimental multilingual queer autobiography that pushed beyond the highly contested borders between America and Mexico. Although other hybrid autobiographies such as Anzaldúa’s had already existed, her work led to a proliferation of other texts that focused on questioning and blurring the boundaries between nations, languages, genders, genres, and more. This seminar invites papers that are interested in the further exploration these autobiographies that decentre America, exploring the spaces beyond its borders and normative definitions of nationhood, individualism, gender, and sexuality. How do these autobiographies experiment with genre to destabilize American identity? How do these writers represent their gender, sexuality, race, and culture while simultaneously queering language and autobiography as a field altogether? How do they ultimately show us what lies beyond borders?

If you are interested in participating in this panel and have any questions or would like any further information, please email Anna Kozak at

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