"I see a mosaic pattern (Aztec-like) emerging, a weaving pattern, thin here, thick there . . . This almost finished product seems an assemblage, a montage...now appearing, now disappearing in a crazy dance. The whole thing has a mind of its own, escaping me and insisting on putting together the pieces of its own puzzle with minimal direction from my will." – Gloria Anzaldua.
English 380A, Winter 2011
Professor Deborah Miranda

Monday, February 7, 2011

CANICULA & Norma Cantu

Norma Cantú (second from left) and Norma Alarcon (third from left) with their 2009 Macondo Writer's Workshop group.
View the interview with Norma Cantú as part of your preparation for this book (it's about 30 minutes in length, and we'll review parts of it in class).  Norma also reads at the 2010 CantoMundo (WorldSong), a Latin@ writer's gathering (at about the 5 minute mark) from her work in progress.  Finally, as part of our continuing conversation about La Virgen de Guadalupe, see Norma's interview about her relationship with this embodiment of Chican@ identity and culture in "The Road to Guadalupe."  (Notice the comment on this site!  Cantu discusses the Chicana re-representations of La Virgen, and a few pictures of artwork are shown, to which one viewer writes, "Dear Sir or ma'am  I am very offended at your depiction of our Blessed mother.  I ask of you to plese remove it at once. I will use means of principled and non violent online protesting to have you remove this if this is not removed soon. And if I don't someone might take my place. So I ask you to plese remove that evil depection of our Lady of Guadalupe at once. Thank You").

Norma Elia Cantú (born January 3, 1947) is a Chicana postmodernist writer and a professor of English at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She was born in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico to Florentino Cantú Vargas and Virginia Ramón Becerra. She was reared in Laredo, Texas, the seat of Webb County, and attended public schools there. Prior to her UTSA professorship, Cantu taught in Laredo at Texas A&M International University.

Cantú received her A.A. degree from Laredo Community College in 1970. She received her bachelor of science degree in English and political science from Texas A&M International University in Laredo, from which she graduated summa cum laude in 1973. She received her master of science degree in English with a minor in political science from Texas A&I University‑Kingsville in 1976 and her Ph.D. in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1982.




  • Forthcoming: Soldiers of the Cross: Los matachines de la Santa Cruz. Texas A&M University Press
  • Co-editor with Inés Hernández Ávila, Entre Malinche y Guadalupe: Tejanas in Literature and Art. 2002
  • Editor. Flor y Ciencia: Chicanas in Mathematics, Science and Engineering. AAAS Adelante Project. 2006
  • Co-editor with Olga Najera Ramírez. Changing Chicana Traditions, University of Illinois Press. 2001
  • Telling to Live: Latina Feminist Testimonios. Co-editor with the Latina Feminst Group. Individual pieces included: "Getting there cuando no hay camino," "A Working Class Brujas Fears," and two poems: "Migraine" and "Reading the Body." Duke University Press.*Santuarios: Program Essay. The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Rockefeller Gateways Program Performance. 2000
  • Canícula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la frontera. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Winner, 1995 Premio Aztlán Literary Prize 
  • Canícula: Imágenes de una niñez fronteriza. Houghton Mifflin Co. 1999

Further reading

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