Cherríe Moraga

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Cherríe L. Moraga
AuthorPhoto for REPRO-cherrie moraga.jpg
Born Cherríe Lawrence Moraga
(1952-09-25) September 25, 1952 (age 65)
Whittier, California, U.S.
Occupation
  • Playwright
  • activist
Nationality American
Subject
  • Feminism
  • Chicana studies
Notable works This Bridge Called My Back, Heroes and Saints
Notable awards Critics' Circle; PEN West; American Book Award

Cherríe Lawrence Moraga[1] (born September 25, 1952) is a Chicana writer, feminist activist, poet, essayist, and playwright.[2][3] She is part of the faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the Department of English. Moraga is also a founding member of the social justice activist group La Red Xicana Indígena which is an organization of Xicanas fighting for education, culture rights, and Indigenous Rights.[4]

Early life[edit]

Moraga was born on September 25, 1952 in Whittier, California.[5] In her article "La Guera" Moraga wrote of her experiences growing up as a child of a white man and a Hispanic woman, stating that "it is frightening to acknowledge that I have internalized a racism and class-ism, where the object of oppression not only someone outside of my skin, but the someone inside my skin."[6] Moraga has cited her mother as her main inspiration to become a writer, stating that she was an eminent storyteller.[7]

Moraga attended Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles, California, gaining a graduateda bachelor's degree in English in 1974. Soon after attending Immaculate Heart College, she enrolled in a writing class at the Women's Building and produced her first lesbian poems.[5][8] In 1977 she moved to San Francisco where she supported herself as a waitress, became politically active as a burgeoning feminist, and discovered women of color feminism. She earned her master's degree in Feminist Writings from San Francisco State University in 1980.[citation needed]

Writing and themes[edit]

Moraga has been credited[by whom?] as one of the few writers to write and introduce the theory of Chicana lesbianism.[citation needed] Themes in her writing include the include the intersections of gender, sexuality, and race, particularly in cultural production by women of color.[9] Moraga's work was featured in tatiana de la tierra's Latina lesbian magazine Esto no tiene nombre, which sought to inform and empower Latina lesbians through the work of writers like Moraga.[9]

Sexuality[edit]

Moraga is openly gay, having come out as a lesbian after her college years. In "La Guera" Moraga compared the discrimination she experienced as a lesbian to her mother's experiences being a poor, uneducated Hispanic woman, stating that “My lesbianism is the avenue through which I have learned the most about silence and oppression, and it continues to be the most tactile reminder to me that we are not free human beings”.[7] After coming out, Moraga began writing more heavily and became involved with the feminist movement.[citation needed] In Loving in the War Years, Moraga cites Capitalist Patriarchy: A Case for Social Feminism as an inspiration when realizing her intersecting identity as a Chicana lesbian, saying, "The appearance of these sisters' words in print, as lesbians of color, suddenly made it viable for me to put my Chicana and lesbian self in the center of my movement."[10]

Career[edit]

Literature and writing[edit]

In 1983 Barbara Smith, Audre Lorde and Moraga started Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, which has been credited as the first publisher dedicated to the writing of women of color in the United States.[11] Later that same year Moraga's first sole-authored book, Loving in the War Years: lo que nunca pasó por sus labios, was published.[12] Moraga co-edited the anthology This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color with Gloria Anzaldúa.[13] Released in 1986, the book won the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award for that year.[14] Along with Ana Castillo and Norma Alarcon, she adapted this anthology into the Spanish-language Esta puente, mi espalda: Voces de mujeres tercermundistas en los Estados Unidos.

In 2007 Moraga was named a 2007 USA Rockefeller Fellow and granted $50,000 by United States Artists.[citation needed][15] She won a Creative Work Fund Award in 2008, and the Gerbode-Hewlett Foundation Grant for Playwriting in 2009.[16]

Still Loving in the (Still) War Years[edit]

In 2009 Moraga published the essay “Still Loving in the (Still) War Years: On Keeping Queer Queer", which critiqued the mainstreaming of LGBT politics through an emphasis on same-sex marriage. During the essay she also discussed transgender people in queer communities and critiqued the increasing inclusion of trans issues in LGBT politics. She argues that young people are being pressured into transitioning by the larger queer culture, stating “the transgender movement at large, and plain ole peer pressure, will preempt young people from residing in that queer, gender-ambivalent site for as long and as deeply as is necessary.” (184)[incomplete short citation] Some community members such as Morgan Collado and Francisco Galarte responded by emphasizing how this invalidated and dismissed the lived experience of young people who decide to transition.[17][18] In this essay Moraga goes further to lament what she sees as the loss of butch and lesbian culture to those who choose to transition, stating that she “[does] not want to keep losing [her] macha daughters to manhood through any cultural mandates that are not of our own making.” (186) In response to this, Galarte argued that “Moraga’s text forces transgender folks to bear the burden of proving loyalty to a nation as well as being the figure that is the exemplar of race, sex, and gender abjection and liberation" (131-32)[incomplete short citation].[18] She was also criticized for her refusal to address transwomen in the essay.[citation needed]

Theater[edit]

From 1994 to 2002, Moraga published a couple of volumes of plays through West End Press of Albuquerque, NM.[19] Moraga has taught courses in dramatic arts and writing at various universities across the United States and is currently an artist in residence at Stanford University. She has written and produced numerous theater productions. She is currently involved in a theatre communications group and was the recipient of the NEA Theatre Playwriting Fellowship Award.[14] In 2009 she received a Gerbode-Hewlett foundation grant for play writing.[7][2]

Watsonville: Some Place Not Here

Moraga's 1996 play, Watsonville: Some Place Not Here was commissioned by the Brava Theatre Center with support from the Rockefeller Foundation and had its world premiere at the Brava Theater May 25, 1996. It won the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and was winner of the Fund for New American Plays Award from the Kennedy center for the Performing Arts.[20]

Select bibliography[edit]

Books[edit]

Theater[edit]

Other works[edit]

  • "Art in America Con Acento" (1994). Anthologized in Women Writing Resistance: essays on Latin America and the Caribbean (2003). Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press. ISBN 0-89608-708-5.
  • The Sexuality of Latinas (co-editor, 1993). Berkeley: Third Woman Press. ISBN 0-943219-00-0.

Selected critical works on Cherríe Moraga[edit]

  • Alarcón, Norma. “The Theoretical Subject(s) of This Bridge Called My Back and Anglo-American Feminism.” Criticism in the Borderlands: Studies in Chicano Literature, Culture and Ideology. Eds. Héctor Calderón and José David Saldívar. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1991. 28-39.
  • Allatson, Paul. “‘I May Create a Monster’: Cherríe Moraga’s Hybrid Denial.” Antípodas: Journal of Hispanic and Galician Studies 11-12 (1999/2000): 103-121.
  • Allatson, Paul. “Cherríe Moraga.” The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature. Ed. Emmanuel S. Nelson. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2005. Vol. 3: 1520-23.
  • Gilmore, Leigh. Autobiographics: A Feminist Theory of Women’s Self-Representation. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994.
  • Ikas, Karin Rosa. Chicana Ways: Conversations with Ten Chicana Writers. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2002.
  • Negrón-Muntaner, Frances. “Cherríe Moraga.” Latin American Writers on Gay and Lesbian Themes: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook. Ed. David William Foster. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994. 254-62.
  • Vivancos Perez, Ricardo F. Radical Chicana Poetics. London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
  • Yarbro-Bejarano, Yvonne. “Cherríe Moraga.” Dictionary of Literary Biography. Vol. 82: Chicano Writers First Series. Eds. Francisco A. Lomelí and Carl R. Shirley. Detroit: Gale/Bruccoli Clark Layman, 1989. 165-77.
  • Yarbro-Bejarano, Yvonne. “De-constructing the Lesbian Body: Cherríe Moraga’s Loving in the War Years.” The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader. Ed. Henry Abelove, Michèle Ana Barale and David M. Halperin. New York: Routledge, 1993. 595-603.
  • Yarbro-Bejarano, Yvonne. The Wounded Heart: Writing on Cherríe Moraga. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2001.

Awards[edit]

  • United States Artist Rockefeller Fellowship for Literature, 2007.
  • National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies Scholars Award, 2001.
  • David R. Kessler Award. The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, City University of New York. (In honor of contributions to the field of Queer Studies), 2000.
  • The First Annual Cara Award. UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center/ Cesar Chavez Center for Interdisciplinary Instruction in Chicana/Chicano Studies, 1999.
  • The Fund for New American Plays Award, a project of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 1995 and 1991.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Ellas in Acción, San Francisco, 1995.
  • Lesbian Rights Award, Southern California Women for Understanding ("for Outstanding Contributions in Lesbian Literature and for Service to the Lesbian Community"), 1991.
  • The National Endowment for the Arts Theater Playwrights' Fellowship, 1993.
  • The PEN West Literary Award for Drama, 1993.
  • The Critics' Circle Award for Best Original Script, 1992 (Heroes and Saints).[29]
  • The Will Glickman Playwriting Award, 1992.
  • The Drama-logue Award for Playwriting, 1992.
  • The Outlook Foundation, Literary Award, 1991.
  • The California Arts Council Artists in Community Residency Award, 1991-2 /1993-5.
  • The American Book Award, Before Columbus Foundation, 1986.
  • The Creative Arts Public Service (CAPS) Grant for Poetry, New York State, 1983.
  • The Mac Dowell Colony Fellowship for Poetry, New Hampshire, 1982.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • (in Spanish) Pignataro, Margarita Elena del Carmen (Arizona State University PhD thesis). "Religious hybridity and female power in "Heart of the Earth: A Popol Vuh Story" and other theatrical works by Cherrie Moraga." (Spanish: El hibridismo religioso y la fuerza femenina en y otras obras teatrales de Cherríe Moraga}}) (Dissertation/Thesis). 01/2009, ISBN 9781109102925. UMI Number: 3353695. - This work has an abstract in English and is written in the Spanish language.
  • Carrière, Marie (2012). "Médée en scène : Deborah Porter, Franca Rame et Cherríe Moraga". Médée protéiforme. University of Ottawa Press. pp. 77–110. 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Pignataro, p. 1. "Cherrie Lawrence Moraga: Introduction"
  2. ^ a b "Cherrie Moraga: Chicana/o-Latina/o Studies". Stanford University. Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  3. ^ López, Tiffany Ana. “Performing Aztlán: The Female Body as Cultural Critique in the Teatro of Cherríe Moraga.” Performing America: Cultural Nationalism in American Theater, edited by Jeffrey D. Mason and J. Ellen Gainor, University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 1999, pp. 160–177. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/10.3998/mpub.16346.13.
  4. ^ This bridge called my back : writings by radical women of color. Moraga, Cherríe,, Anzaldúa, Gloria, (Fourth ed.). Albany. ISBN 9781438454382. OCLC 894128432. 
  5. ^ a b "Cherrie Moraga". University of Illinois at Chicago. Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  6. ^ Moraga, Cherrie. "La Guera" (PDF). jonescollegeprep.engschool.org. 
  7. ^ a b c Moraga, Cherrie (September 1979). "La Guera" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  8. ^ "Cherríe Moraga & "The Welder"". Literature of Working Women. Workingwomen.wikispaces.com. Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  9. ^ a b PhD, María Dolores Costa (2003-06-01). "Latina Lesbian Writers and Performers". Journal of Lesbian Studies. 7 (3): 5–27. doi:10.1300/J155v07n03_02. ISSN 1089-4160. PMID 24816051. 
  10. ^ Moraga, Cherríe L. (1983). Loving in the War Years. Boston: South End Press. p. 123. ISBN 0-89608-195-8. 
  11. ^ Short, Kayann. Coming to the Table: The Differential Politics of "This Bridge Called my Back", Genders 19 (1994): pp. 4-8.
  12. ^ Yarbro-Bejarano, Yvonne. The Wounded Heart: Writing on Cherríe Moraga. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2001.
  13. ^ "Cherrie Moraga Biography - (1952– ), This Bridge Called My Back: Radical Writings by Women of Color". JRank Articles. Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  14. ^ a b "Cherrie Moraga". Voices From the Gaps. University of Minnesota. Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  15. ^ "Cherrie Moraga - Cherrie Moraga Biography - Poem Hunter". www.poemhunter.com. Retrieved 2018-09-02. 
  16. ^ a b Ivan Villanueva (December 13, 2011). "Cherrie Moraga Aims to Ignite a New Fire". The Advocate. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  17. ^ Collado, Morgan. 2016. “XQsí Magazine — On Actually Keeping Queer Queer: A Response to Cherrie Moraga.” Accessed July 17. http://xqsimagazine.com/2012/04/13/on-actually-keeping-queer-queer-a-response-to-cherrie-moraga/.
  18. ^ a b Galarte, Francisco J. 2014. “TRANSGENDER CHICAN@ POETICS: Contesting, Interrogating, and Transforming Chicana/o Studies.” Chicana/Latina Studies 13 (2): 118–39.
  19. ^ "Moraga, Cherríe L.: Heroes and Saints". NYU School of Medicine. 1998-02-19. Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  20. ^ a b VG/Voices from the Gaps Project: Merideth R. Cleary and Erin E. Fergusson
  21. ^ Tatonetti, Lisa (2004). ""A Kind of Queer Balance": Cherríe Moraga's Aztlán". MELUS. 29 (2): 227–247. doi:10.2307/4141827. 
  22. ^ A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness: Writings, 2000–2010
  23. ^ "THE HUNGRY WOMAN - Cherrie Moraga". Small Press Distribution. Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  24. ^ Manus, Willard (March 13, 1998). "Giving Up the Ghost, About a Chicana Lesbian, Opens Mar. 13 in San Diego". Playbill. 
  25. ^ Shaw, Stephanie. "Shadow of a Man/No One Writes to the Colonel". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2018-08-07. 
  26. ^ López, Tiffany Ana (2010). Moraga, Cherríe; Anthony, Adelina, eds. "PERFORMANCE REVIEW: The Staging of Violence Against and Amongst Chicanas in "Digging Up the Dirt" by Cherríe Moraga (2010)". Chicana/Latina Studies. 10 (1): 108–113. 
  27. ^ Céspedes, Erika Vivianna (2012-01-13). "Moraga Returns With A New Fire; To Put Things Right Again". Silicon Valley De-Bug. Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  28. ^ ""Brava presents the world premiere of The Mathematics of Love"". www.brava.org. Retrieved 09/9/2017.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  29. ^ Peterson, Jane T.; Bennett, Suzanne. Women Playwrights of Diversity: A Bio-bibliographical Sourcebook. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 252. ISBN 9780313291791. 

External links[edit]