Integral Review

A Transdisciplinary and Transcultural Journal For New Thought, Research, and Praxis

The Borderlands Feminine: A Feminist, Decolonial Framework for Re-membering Motherlines in South Asia/Transnational Culture

Monica Mody

This paper uses Gloria Anzaldúa’s borderlands framework to resignify and recover the marginalized, forgotten sacred feminine and, thereby, South Asian motherlines. The borderlands is conceived of as a new consciousness, an alternative to that which is written in history. It offers a radical synthesis of spiritual healing with anti-oppression work. Creating self-affirming, complex images of female identity, and making revisionist myths—while engaging the self in relation to culture— constitutes a decolonial practice. It enables South Asian women—as the Others of colonial modernity and brahmanical patriarchy—to renew their relation to an episteme of the sacred that liberates their voices, vitality, and authority. The post-secular sacred locates as essential a critical interrogation of all forms of oppression. The researcher enacts her decolonial recovery at the edges of her South Asian/brown postcolonial feminist subjectivity. The borderlands framework makes possible a profoundly relational, integrative onto-epistemological praxis that forefronts the grandmothers, the foremothers, and the experiences of women of color on their own terms.

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