In "Learning from Experience", Paula Moya offers an alternative to some influential philosophical assumptions about identity and experience in contemporary literary theory. Arguing that the texts and lived experiences of subordinated people are rich sources of insight about our society, Moya presents a nuanced universalist justification for identity-based work in ethnic studies. This strikingly original book provides eloquent analyses of such postmodernist feminists as Judith Butler, Donna Haraway, Norma Alarcon, and Chela Sandoval, and counters the assimilationist proposals of minority neoconservatives such as Shelby Steele and Richard Rodriguez. It advances realist proposals for multicultural education and offers an understanding of the interpretive power of Chicana feminists including Cherrie Moraga, Gloria Anzaldua, and Helena Maria Viramontes. Learning from Experience enlarges our concept of identity and offers new ways to situate aspects of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation in discursive and sociopolitical contexts.
Paula M. L. Moya is Assistant Professor of English at Stanford University and coeditor of Reclaiming Identity: Realist Theory and the Predicament of Postmodernism (California, 2000).
Acknowledgments Introduction: Identity in the Academy and Beyond 1. Postmodernism, Realism, and the Politics of Identity: Cherrie Moraga and Chicana Feminism 2. Chicana Feminism and Postmodernist Theory 3. Cultural Particularity vs. Universal Humanity: The Value of Being Asimilao 4. Learning How to Learn from Others: Realist Proposals for Multicultural Education 5. Reading as a Realist: Expanded Literacy in Helena Maria Viramontes's Under the Feet of Jesus Bibliography Index