Gloria E. Anzaldúa
Novelist and scholar of Chicana culture, feminist theory, and queer theory.
"Gloria Anzaldúa was an American scholar of Chicana cultural theory, feminist theory, and queer theory. She loosely based her best-known book, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, on her life growing up on the Mexico–Texas border and incorporated her lifelong feelings of social and cultural marginalization into her work. She also developed theories about the marginal, in-between, and mixed cultures that develop along borders.
Anzaldúa was born in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas on September 26, 1942, to Urbano Anzaldúa and Amalia Anzaldúa née García. Gloria Anzaldúa's great-grandfather, Urbano Sr., once a precinct judge in Hidalgo County, was the first owner of the Jesús María Ranch on which she was born. Her mother grew up on an adjoining ranch, Los Vergeles ("the gardens"), which was owned by her family, and she met and married Urbano Anzaldúa when both were very young. Anzaldúa was a descendant of many of the prominent Spanish explorers and settlers to come to the Americas in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and also had indigenous ancestry. The surname Anzaldúa is of Basque origin.
When she was eleven, her family relocated to Hargill, Texas. In 1968, she received a B.A. in English, Art, and Secondary Education from Pan American University, and an M.A. in English and Education from the University of Texas at Austin. While in Austin, she joined politically active cultural poets and radical dramatists such as Ricardo Sanchez, and Hedwig Gorski.
After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in English from the then Pan American University (now University of Texas Rio Grande Valley), Anzaldúa worked as a preschool and special education teacher. In 1977, she moved to California, where she supported herself through her writing, lectures, and occasional teaching stints about feminism, Chicano studies, and creative writing at San Francisco State University, the University of California, Santa Cruz, Florida Atlantic University, and other universities.
She made contributions to fields of feminism and contributed to the field of cultural theory/Chicana and queer theory." (1)