Draws from Latina feminism, existential phenomenology, and race theory to explore the concept of selfhood.
This original study intertwining Latina feminism, existential phenomenology, and race theory offers a new philosophical approach to understanding selfhood and identity. Focusing on writings by Gloría Anzaldúa, María Lugones, and Linda Martín Alcoff, Mariana Ortega articulates a phenomenology that introduces a conception of selfhood as both multiple and singular. Her Latina feminist phenomenological approach can account for identities belonging simultaneously to different worlds, including immigrants, exiles, and inhabitants of borderlands. Ortega's project forges new directions not only in Latina feminist thinking on such issues as borders, mestizaje, marginality, resistance, and identity politics, but also connects this analysis to the existential phenomenology of Martin Heidegger and to such concepts as being-in-the-world, authenticity, and intersubjectivity. The pairing of the personal and the political in Ortega's work is illustrative of the primacy of lived experience in the development of theoretical understandings of who we are. In addition to bringing to light central metaphysical issues regarding the temporality and continuity of the self, Ortega models a practice of philosophy that draws from work in other disciplines and that recognizes the important contributions of Latina feminists and other theorists of color to philosophical pursuits.
Mariana Ortega is Professor of Philosophy at John Carroll University and coeditor (with Linda Martín Alcoff) of Constructing the Nation: A Race and Nationalism Reader, also published by SUNY Press.
"Mariana Ortega has written an important book on a topic that arguably should be considered central to feminist philosophy … let this book be a source of many future questions, conversations, and critical engagements with the ideas of being-in-worlds and in-between worlds that Ortega has brought so vividly to our attention. " — hypatia