2022 Latina/x Feminisms Roundtable
Andrea J. Pitts
Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte
"Seeing with the Heart: Beth Brant, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Indigenous-Chicana
In this presentation, Andrea J. Pitts foregrounds the close, personal relationship between Two-Spirit Bay of Quinte Mohawk poet and essayist Beth Brant and queer Chicana poet and essayist Gloria Anzaldúa. Through an analysis of a series of letters exchanged between Brant and Anzaldúa from 1982 to 1990, Pitts underscores the forms of solidarity and support described in the letters between the two writers. By examining this transnational friendship between Brant and Anzaldúa, Pitts notes how Latina/x feminists and other non-Native feminists gain insight into methods for supporting Indigenous sovereignty. In particular, drawing from the political relationship between land and bodily sovereignty for Two-Spirit peoples articulated by Alex Wilson (Opaskwayak Cree Nation) and from the framework of “carrying stories” as a relational accountability practice by Andrea Riley-Mukavetz (Chippewa, Thames Band), Pitts explores the intimate and sometimes fraught relationships between feminist political solidarity and personal friendships.
Andrea Pitts (they/them/elle en español) is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Their research interests include Latin American and U.S. Latinx philosophy, critical philosophy of race, feminist philosophy, disability studies, and critical prison studies, and they are author of Nos/Otras: Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Multiplicitous Agency, and Resistance (2021), and co-editor with Mark Westmoreland of Beyond Bergson: Examining Race and Colonialism through the Writings of Henri Bergson (2019) and Theories of the Flesh: Latinx and Latin American Feminisms, Transformation, and Resistance with Mariana Ortega and José M. Medina (2020). Andrea also co-organizes with Perry Zurn, the Trans Philosophy Project, a professional and research initiative dedicated to supporting trans, nonbinary, and gender variant philosophers.