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Abstract

This sketch is an attempt to illustrate how we can imagine Anzaldúa's "new mestiza" consciousness with the help of Mikhail Bakhtin's theory and Tomás Rivera's bildungsroman set in the Texas/Mexico border. More specifically, I attempt to position this effort between Bakhtin's sense of "ideological becoming" and Anzaldúa's "mestiza consciousness" by arguing that Tomás Rivera's novel dramatizes the process from the former to the latter--a reflection of his ability to be on "both shores at once" (Anzaldúa, 1987, p. 79). Allowing Anzaldúa, Bakhtin, and Rivera to cross-pollinate is to begin to theorize a dialogical mechanism by which border subjectivities fraught with psychic strife can reach ideological independence and speak a subversive narrative for the sake of self-liberation. In short, this article is a meta-mestizaje: a Russian-Chicana hybrid written by a mambo-dancing Cuban-American (Firmat, 1994, p. 83).

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