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Theresa Delgadillo, PhD

     Associate Professor of Comparative Studies at The Ohio State                              University

2013 Roundtable on Latina Feminism
“‘We are the Holy Relics’: Religion in the Chicana Literary Imagination”

In this presentation, Delgadillo examines the religious imagination in Chicana novels and documentary films in the last decade of the twentieth century, illuminating theoretical and historical frameworks for considering both Chicana religiosity and Chicana texts about spirituality. Arguing that contemporary Chicana narratives of the borderlands that query normative gender and sexuality or disrupt accepted national and racial boundaries often do so through the representation of journeys of spiritual transformation, this presentation will analyze the significance of these journeys in revealing discursive containments, representing borderlands religious contexts and imagining new spiritualities. Delgadillo will discuss these three aspects of Chicana narratives about spiritual transformation through close reading of representations of women’s bodies in these texts.


Theresa Delgadillo is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Studies at The Ohio State University in Columbus where she teaches Comparative Ethnic and American Studies, especially Latin@ Studies. She is also affiliated faculty in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her book Spiritual Mestizaje: Religion, Gender, Race and Nation in Contemporary Chicana Narrative was published in 2011 by Duke University Press. Delgadillo has published articles in Aztlán, American Literary History, Revista de la Universidad de México, Midwest Miscellany, Modern Fiction Studies, Latino Studies Journal and Studies in American Indian Literatures as well as several chapters in edited volumes. She conducts research and teaches on religion in Latin@ texts and contexts, Latin@s in the Midwest and Afro-Latinidad.

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