206 | Notes to Editor’s Introduction
conocimiento and to the many personal discussions she had with me and
other writing comadres about the text. For additional information, see Glo-
ria E. Anzaldúa, Interviews / Entrevistas, ed. AnaLouise Keating (New York: Rout-
ledge, 2000). Anzaldúa played with other titles, as well, and was very indecisive
about which title would be best. In her most recent table of contents (last
saved April 13, 2004, in the subfolder “0. toc_preface”), she listed three possibili-
ties: “Light in the Dark: Luz en lo oscuro— Rewriting Identity, Spirituality, Real-
ity”; “Enacting Nepantla: Rewriting Identity”; and “Po liti cal Reimaginings: The
Making of Identity, Spirituality, Reality.” For additional discussions of the dis-
sertation / book drafts, see appendix 1 and appendix 5 in this volume.
4. I discuss most of these concepts later in this introduction and in the glos-
sary. “Autohistoria” and “autohistoria-teoría” represent Anzaldúa’s terms for
polyvocal, transformational literary forms and methods that blend personal
and cultural biography with memoir, fiction, history, myth, and other forms
of storytelling. As Sonia Saldívar-Hull suggests, autohistoria represents “a
new genre” that pre sents “history as a serpentine cycle rather than a linear
narrative”: Sonia Saldívar-Hull, “Critical Introduction,” in Gloria Anzaldúa, Bor-
derlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza, 2d ed. San Francisco: Aunt Lute, 1999), 2.
Similarly, autohistoria-teoría represents a new genre that engages with history in
nonconventional ways. In a fax to Karima Ridgley dated October  20, 1998,
Anzaldúa defines “authohistoria-teoría” as “a mixed genre which includes per-
sonal and theoretical essay, memoir and autobiography and that uses poetic
and fictive elements”: Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa Papers, Benson Latin Ameri-
can Collection, University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas, Austin (here-
after, Anzaldúa Papers), box 133, folder 5. Both autohistoria and autohistoria-
teoría foster individual and collective self-growth, sociopo liti cal re sis tance,
and planetary transformation. While autohistoria focuses more closely on
the author’s life story and collective history, drawing from and at times fic-
tionalizing it (seen, for example, in Anzaldúa’s Prieta stories), autohistoria-teoría
includes openly theoretical dimensions. I use the term “autohistoria-teoría”
rather than “autohistoría,” “auto-historia teoría,” or any other variation be-
cause this is the term Anzaldúa used most often and most recently to describe
her theory.
5. Given the changes in Anzaldúa’s thought over the final de cade of her life,
it could be argued that she worked on several dissertations. And given the fact
that she did not at any point submit versions of her book (or even proposal
drafts of any individual chapters) to the faculty on her “dissertation” commit-
tees, it could be argued that Anzaldúa’s book projects were dissertation in
name only. Regardless, the version from the early 1990s focuses closely on La
Llorona and the writing pro cess, while the “final” version, Light in the Dark, has
a more expansive focus.
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