Draws from Latina feminism, existential phenomenology, and race theory to explore the concept of selfhood. This original study intertwining Latina feminism, existential phenomenology, and race theory offers a new philosophical approach to understanding selfhood and identity. Focusing on writings by Gloría Anzaldúa, María Lugones, and Linda Martín Alcoff, Mariana Ortega articulates a phenomenology that introduces a conception of selfhood as both multiple and singular. Her Latina feminist phenomenological approach can account for identities belonging simultaneously to different worlds, including immigrants, exiles, and inhabitants of borderlands. Ortega’s project forges new directions not only in Latina feminist thinking on such issues as borders, mestizaje, marginality, resistance, and identity politics, but also connects this analysis to the existential phenomenology of Martin Heidegger and to such concepts as being-in-the-world, authenticity, and intersubjectivity. The pairing of the personal and the political in Ortega’s work is illustrative of the primacy of lived experience in the development of theoretical understandings of who we are. In addition to bringing to light central metaphysical issues regarding the temporality and continuity of the self, Ortega models a practice of philosophy that draws from work in other disciplines and that recognizes the important contributions of Latina feminists and other theorists of color to philosophical pursuits.
Explores how writers across five continents and four centuries have debated ideas about what it means to be an individual, and shows that the modern self is an ongoing project of global history. In Global Origins of the Modern Self, from Montaigne to Suzuki, Avram Alpert contends that scholars have yet to fully grasp the constitutive force of global connections in the making of modern selfhood. Alpert argues that canonical moments of self-making from around the world share a surprising origin in the colonial anthropology of Europeans in the Americas. While most intellectual histories of modernity begin with the Cartesian inward turn, Alpertshows how this turn itself was an evasion of the impact of the colonial encounter. He charts a counter-history of the modern self, tracing lines of influence that stretch from Michel de Montaigne’s encounter with the Tupi through the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau into German Idealism, American Transcendentalism, postcolonial critique, and modern Zen. Alpert considers an unusually wide range of thinkers, including Kant, Hegel, Fanon, Emerson, Du Bois, Senghor, and Suzuki. This book not only breaks with disciplinary conventions about period and geography but also argues that these conventions obscure our ability to understand the modern condition. “Alpert’s scholarship is impressive, offering a focused sweep of intellectual history and incisive readings of many important figures (and the scholarly literature devoted to them). He is a fantastic writer. His prose is direct and evocative, conveying complex ideas in clear and probing terms. This style transforms a long text into a relatively quick and, at times, gripping read.” — Jane Anna Gordon, author of Creolizing Political Theory: Reading Rousseau through Fanon “Through textual and historical analyses and great interpretive abilities, Alpert shows persuasively that Montaigne, Rousseau, Emerson, Suzuki, and others—separately and together—are thinkers not of a Western (monopolizing the sense of modern) tradition, but of global, pluralist thought. His way of reading these thinkers can be a model for others interested in decolonizing and deracializing modern thought while preserving much of the canon with its present membership; with its male, Western-European and Anglo-American membership. But Alpert has done more. Through his arguments he has made room for Du Bois, Fanon, and Suzuki to be included in the canon. This is intellectually progressive and politically significant, and will make a fresh reading experience for many readers.” — Peter K. J. Park, author of Africa, Asia, and the History of Philosophy: Racism in the Formation of the Philosophical Canon, 1780–1830
"A theory in the flesh means one where the physical realities of our lives all fuse to create a politic born of necessity," writes activist Cherríe L. Moraga. This volume of new essays stages an intergenerational dialogue among philosophers to introduce and deepen engagement with U.S Latinx and Latin American feminist philosophy, and to explore their "theories in the flesh." It explores specific intellectual contributions in various topics in U.S. Latinx and Latin American feminisms that stand alone and are unique and valuable; analyzes critical contributions that U.S. Latinx and Latin American interventions have made in feminist thought more generally over the last several decades; and shows the intellectual and transformative value of reading U.S Latinx and Latin American feminist theorizing. The collection features a series of essays analyzing decolonial approaches within U. S. Latinx and Latin American feminist philosophy, including studies of the functions of gender within feminist theory, everyday modes of resistance, and methodological questions regarding the scope and breadth of decolonization as a critical praxis. Additionally, essays examine theoretical contributions to feminist discussions of selfhood, narrativity, and genealogy, as well as novel epistemic and hermeneutical approaches within the field. A number of contributors in the book address themes of aesthetics and embodiment, including issues of visual representation, queer desire, and disability within U. S. Latinx and Latin American feminisms. Together, the essays in this volume are groundbreaking and powerful contributions in the fields of U.S Latinx and Latin American feminist philosophy.