Reading questions: Cherrie Moraga essays

 

The following reading questions are meant to help you focus on certain aspects of the readings and start thinking about connections across the curriculum of this class.

 

1.  Why does Moraga choose to spell Chicana “Xicana”, and why is that important to her?

2. Moraga calls herself a XicanaDyke, signaling the confluence of “raza” and sexual orientation in her sense of identity.  Where in her texts do you see this confluence at work?  Collect important passages.

3. What observations can you make about the style of these essays (and the poem)?

4. When talking about the Taiwanese queer literary texts, one of the questions we had on the board concerned the relationships between the global and the local, and the past and the present.  How do those relationships map out in these texts by Moraga?

5. What new perspectives does Moraga’s voice add to our inquiry into queer literature this quarter–what’s distinctive here, and how would you position her in relation to, say, Judith Butler’s theories of performativity, or Tim Dean’s remarks on transgression?

6. Why the professed estrangement from the gay and lesbian movement (for instance as narrated in “A XicanaDyke Codex of Changing Consciousness”?

7. What role does “family” play for Moraga?  What constitutes “family” and “home”?  How does this compare to the idea of home in Giovanni’s Room?

8. There are certain recurring images and metaphors in Moraga’s writing, as we are reading it.  What are they, and what may be their functions a) for Moraga and b) for her readers?  Who is Moraga talking to (audience)?

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