From berdache to Two-Spirit & Gay[re]constructing American "indianness" in the post-apocalypse

  1. Héctor José Fuentes Soto
Supervised by:
  1. Justine Tally Watson Director
  2. María Luz González Rodríguez Director

Defence university: Universidad de La Laguna

Year of defence: 2017

Committee:
  1. María del Mar Pérez Gil Chair
  2. María José Chivite de León Secretary
  3. José Manuel Estévez-Saá Committee member
Department:
  1. Filología Inglesa y Alemana

Type: Thesis

Abstract

Ever since the beginnings of time, humankind has wondered about the apocalypse and the end of times. The arrival of Columbus brought the apocalypse to the Americas and pre-Columbian civilizations were subjugated to centuries of decimation, cultural trauma, and identity loss. The figure of the berdache -a biological being with two souls inhabiting his or her body, being the second one that of the opposite sex- was nearly wiped off and left the American Indian tradition without one of its foundations. Given the orality of American Indians, the narratives and stories were passed onto generations until they found a way to put it on paper in the second half of the twentieth century. The rise of the LGB movement in the 80s gave visibility to a community that was suffering the consequences of the AIDS crisis. The [gay] American Indian discourse found its cornerstone after publishing "Living the Spirit," the first anthology for and by gay American Indian writers. The nineties and early 2000s were prolific in terms of production and style, and were a success as it facilitated the exposition of the gay American Indian discourse, which was doomed to get stagnated as a consequence of PTSD, Post-Apocalypse Stress Disorder, and the inability to move forward and cope with the past in a healthy way. Covering the work of Sidner Larson and his proposal of a post-apocalypse theoretical model, the views on gender proposed by Judith Butler and Michel Foucault, and a vast corpus of trauma theory and cultural trauma, this work analyzes the reconstruction of the American 'Indianness' through two literary anthologies that construct a time-space discourse that begins 'after the end.'