Professor Rebeca Hey-Colón: “‘You’re Not Infected with Something, Are You?:’ Affliction and Exposure in Gloria Anzaldúa’s ‘Puddles’”
March 4 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Abstract: Gloria Anzaldúa’s name is predominantly associated with her much anthologized text Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. Published in 1987, Anzaldúa’s sui-generis text has become a staple in courses on Border Studies, Gender Studies, Chicanx/Latinx Studies, etc. Nonetheless, Anzaldúa wrote in a variety of genres; from essays, to poetry, to fiction, and beyond. This lecture explores one of the few pieces of fiction published within Anzaldúa’s lifetime, the short story “Puddles.” Through an analysis of the ways in which the story engages with notions of illness, transmission, and knowledge, I discuss how “Puddles” and its characters become an embodiment of the costs and gains associated with the process of transformation in our society, as well as with the envisioning and fragmentation of community. Finally, by taking into account several unpublished versions of “Puddles” located within Anzaldúa’s archive, I will also demonstrate how engagement with the Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa Papers has the power to forge new paths in Anzaldúan scholarship.