Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2021

Degree Type

Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts in American Studies (MAST)

Department

Interdisciplinary Studies

First Advisor

Stacy Keltner

Second Advisor

Rodolpho Aguilar

Third Advisor

Sanjuana Rodriguez

Abstract

Can You See Me? Re-Centering Biracial Voices through Chicana Intervention in Children’s Literature offers critical reflection on an applied research project: the writing of a children’s book that interrogates how introducing a complex theoretical concept would take form. Children’s media introduced in the home and the school are some of the biggest influences when it comes to identity and societal expectations. Unfortunately for students who are bi or multiracial, there has been a lot of erasure of their voices and experiences that do not help cultivate positive identity formations. Chicana feminists situated their voices, histories, and experiences within their scholarship and activism. Using autoethnography to center my own experience and introducing a complex concept to children of upper elementary age to engage with their formation of identity. It is the concept Gloria Anzaldúa expanded upon that helped change many courses of disciplinary thought. She traced her conception and shifts of new mestiza and nepantla through her body of work that culminated in the posthumous publication of Light in the Dark/Luz en lo Oscuro: Rewriting Identity, Spirituality, Reality. With the concept of nepantla being understood as existing within the liminal spaces or the inbetween, relating these concepts to children through the medium of literature and introducing such abstract concepts to elementary age children will help build a community of confidence and empathy with regards to how important autoethnography and positionality can be to children’s literature.

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