SAAP 2016

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Philosophical, Existential, Letter Writing: A Look at Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz's “Reply” and Gloria Anzaldúa's “Speaking in Tongues”

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My essay examines Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz's “Reply to Sor Philothea” and Gloria Anzaldúa's “Speaking in Tongues: A Letter to 3rd World Women Writers.” By bringing these two texts together I explore each letters response to the question, “for us, what does it mean to be considered human” – a question that continually underlies Inter-American feminist fights against colonization, renouncement of patriarchal structures, and recovery from generations of not having a voice in many public, intellectual, and academic spaces. Furthermore, I investigate the merits of existential, philosophical, letter writing, qualities which I believe these two letters express. My aim is to show the benefits of greater inclusiveness for works written less traditionally, particularly for those that can be considered “philosophical letters.”

Author(s):

Margaret Newton    
University of Oregon, Department of Philosophy
United States

 

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