Inter-American Encounters in the Travel and Migration Narratives of Mayra Montero and Cristina García: Toward a Decolonial Hemispheric Feminism

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2014
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University of Chicago Press
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This essay merges scholarship on coloniality and hemispheric theories to elaborate a hemispheric decolonial feminism. I adopt this approach to illustrate how two Cuban exile writers, Mayra Montero and Cristina García, located at different sites in the hemisphere, create narratives that expose and provide positive alternatives to Western knowledge systems and their mechanisms for reproducing asymmetrical power relations in the Americas. A comparative analysis of their work reveals that travel and migration narratives provide an oppositional ideological-discursive location from which feminists along the North-South axes combat the power that regimes based on coloniality exercise to alienate and exclude. Their narratives illustrate the dialectical permutations of historically continuous encounters between the Anglo-European and the American subaltern around conflictive ways of being and knowing—those based in Western scientific paradigms and those based in the Caribbean’s African-derived cosmologies of vodou and Santería.

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