This Essay is a journey that will elucidate a personal exploration of LatCrit's trinitarian goals of engagement of identity interrogations, community building, and self-critical analysis. It will reflect personal travels and travails, bumps in the road and epiphanies, theory and practice. The plot for these musings is a cultural voyage in which this viajera embarks to live and comprehend the meaning of mestizaje 5 in a personal quest for identity location; the stage is LatCrit IV.
My interrelated trips are chartered in three parts. Part I, Nuevos Mundos. Traveling LatCrit Community, presents the historical background of, contexts for, and evolutions of personal identity explorations in which I have engaged in the past utilizing the vehicle of LatCrit. As will become evident, that vehicle is a complex and changing one. But at its core, LatCrit philosophizes inclusiveness in light of diversity, support in light of difference, community in light of conflict. These foundational elements imbue the personal, political, and academic/intellectual aspects of the LatCrit movement. As my observations and experiences reveal, such an environment absorbs the shocks of stresses and conflicts and transmogrifies potentially disruptive energy into transformation and growth.
Part II, Nuevas Fronteras. LatCrit IV Crossings, relates my personal journey through our fourth LatCrit encounter. In so doing, it illuminates, by re/presenting a lived experience, several locations of stress points among our communities. Specifically, this Part, largely a narrative of my presentation at LatCrit, my participation in the "circle," and the events surrounding those two experiences, unearths possible tensions in the interrogation of identities and in claims to mestizaje as well as the potential conflicts such interrogation may engender.
The last section, Part III, Navegando Nuevas Teorias (Traveling/Navigating New Theories) seeks to unravel the discord that surfaced as this Essay exposes in Part II. It seeks to unbundle the positive and transformative potential of tension and strife. This exploration does not deny, indeed it recognizes and accepts, the existence of stress, and, suggests how, by utilizing its force and redirecting it towards constructive projects, it can move us towards accomplishing the LatCrit goals of producing knowledge, connecting communities, and building coalition.
Berta Esperanza Hernandez-Truyol, LatIndia II -- Latinas/os, Natives, and Mestizajes -- A LatCrit Navigation of Nuevos Mundos, Nuevas Fronteras, and Nuevas Teorias, 33 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 851 (2000)