Shapeshifting Subjects

Gloria Anzaldúa's Naguala and Border Arte
Author: Kelli D. Zaytoun
How can attention to the shapeshifter in literature change how we see ourselves and the world?
Cloth – $110
Paper – $25
eBook – $19.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 06/14/2022
Cloth: 06/14/2022
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About the Book

Kelli D. Zaytoun draws on Gloria Anzaldúa's thought to present a radically inclusive and expansive approach to selfhood, creativity, scholarship, healing, coalition-building, and activism. Zaytoun focuses on Anzaldúa's naguala/ shapeshifter, a concept of nagualismo. This groundbreaking theory of subjectivity details a dynamic relationship between “inner work” and "public acts" that strengthens individuals' roles in social and transformative justice work. Zaytoun's detailed emphasis on la naguala, and Nahua metaphysics specifically, brings much needed attention to Anzaldúa's long-overlooked contribution to the study of subjectivity. The result is a women and queer of color, feminist-focused work aimed at scholars in many disciplines and intended to overcome barriers separating the academy from everyday life and community.

An original and moving analysis, Shapeshifting Subjects draws on unpublished archival material to apply Anzaldúa's ideas to new areas of thought and action.

About the Author

Kelli D. Zaytoun is a professor and the director of graduate studies in the Department of English Language and Literatures at Wright State University.



"A significant text in the scholarship of Gloria Anzaldúa and in Latina/x feminisms in general. Zaytoun's in-depth analysis of la naguala, a key concept in Anzaldúa's work that has been barely theorized, will move Anzaldúa scholarship in new directions."--Mariana Ortega, author of In-Between: Latina Feminist Phenomenology, Multiplicity, and the Self

"Shapeshifting Subjects takes us to the radical edge of many untheorized aspects of Gloria Anzaldúa’s theoretical toolbox including shapeshifting, naguala, and intra-relationality. Zaytoun revives the possibilities of shapeshifting for radical feminist work long preoccupied with difference and coalition building, and decolonial methods for healing colonial wounds. Shapeshifing transports ontological becoming with a dazzling array of more-than-human forms of consciousness. Brimming with nuanced critical insights and poignant reflection, you will be moved after reading this book."--Felicity Amaya Schaeffer, author of Love and Empire: Cybermarriage and Citizenship across the Americas