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January 30, 2006

Gloria Anzaldúa exhibit at McHenry Library

By Scott Rappaport

UCSC’s McHenry Library will present an exhibit honoring the late visionary feminist philosopher and writer Gloria Anzaldúa through March 24.

Gloria Anzuld˙a

Anzaldúa was a lecturer in the Women's Studies Department at UCSC where she influenced a generation of students, offering such courses as Autohistorias and Women of Color in the United States, before her untimely death in 2004. Anzaldúa was also a graduate student in literature at UCSC and had nearly completed her Ph.D. at the time of her death; she was awarded her Ph.D. posthumously.

“Anzaldúa drew inspiration from an array of altars (altares) she created in her home near Lighthouse Point,” noted exhibit curator Irene Reti. “We are happy to announce that the Special Collections department of the University Library is the new home for these altares. This exhibit situates the altares in the context of Anzaldúa's writing.”

The altares will form the heart of a memorial to Anzaldúa at the library, which will consist of:

•  A group study/memorial room named after her in the new, expanded McHenry Library, expected to open by 2010.

•  A revolving, small permanent exhibit in the memorial room featuring her altares and publications. (Some of the altares are also on permanent display at the UCSC Women's Center.)

•  Programming and library enrichment activities dedicated to her scholarship and vision.

Anzaldúa is the author of Borderlands: La Frontera (1987)--selected as one of the “100 Best Books of the Century” by both the Utne Reader  and Hungry Mind Review. Her other published works include This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (1981, coedited with Cherríe Moraga), a ground-breaking collection of essays and poems widely recognized by scholars in women’s studies as the premiere multicultural feminist text.

Anzaldúa’s numerous honors include a fiction award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award, the Lamda Lesbian Small Book Press Award, the Susan Koppelman Award, the Smithsonian Notable Book Award, and the Américas Honor Award.

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