Cover image for The Wound and the Stitch: A Genealogy of the Female Body from Medieval Iberia to SoCal Chicanx Art By Loretta Victoria Ramirez

The Wound and the Stitch

A Genealogy of the Female Body from Medieval Iberia to SoCal Chicanx Art

Loretta Victoria Ramirez

Coming in May

$112.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-09727-5
Coming in May

$27.95 | Paperback Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-09728-2
Coming in May

256 pages
6" × 9"
17 color/3 b&w illustrations
2024

RSA Series in Transdisciplinary Rhetoric

The Wound and the Stitch

A Genealogy of the Female Body from Medieval Iberia to SoCal Chicanx Art

Loretta Victoria Ramirez

The Wound and the Stitch is an extremely compelling and persuasive text that examines colonial trauma inflicted upon Chicanx people. Through critical and thoughtful readings of a wide variety of texts, Ramirez’s book uses the idea of wounding as its primary analytic. It brings this cultural rhetoric back to where we need it most—the classroom—to consider how the wound and the stitch function in the everyday lives of Chicanx and Latinx students.”

 

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The Wound and the Stitch traces a history of imagery and language centered on the concept of woundedness and the stitching together of fragmented selves. Focusing particularly on California and its historical violences against Chicanx bodies, Loretta Victoria Ramirez argues that woundedness has become a ubiquitous and significant form of Chicanx self-representation, especially in late twentieth-century print media and art.

Ramirez maps a genealogy of the female body from late medieval Iberian devotional sculptures to contemporary strategies of self-representation. By doing so, she shows how wounds—metaphorical, physical, historical, and linguistic—are inherited and manifested as ongoing violations of the body and othered forms of identity. Beyond simply exposing these wounds, however, Ramirez also shows us how they can be healed—or rather stitched. Drawing on Mesoamerican concepts of securing stability during lived turmoil, or nepantla, Ramirez investigates how creators such as Cherríe Moraga, Renee Tajima-Peña, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, and Amalia Mesa-Bains repurpose the concept of woundedness to advocate for redress and offer delicate, ephemeral moments of healing.

Positioning woundedness as a potent method to express Chicanx realities and transform the self from one that is wounded to one that is stitched, this book emphasizes the necessity of acknowledgment and ethical restitution for colonial legacies. It will be valued by scholars and students interested in the history of rhetorics, twentieth-century Chicanx art, and Latinx studies.

The Wound and the Stitch is an extremely compelling and persuasive text that examines colonial trauma inflicted upon Chicanx people. Through critical and thoughtful readings of a wide variety of texts, Ramirez’s book uses the idea of wounding as its primary analytic. It brings this cultural rhetoric back to where we need it most—the classroom—to consider how the wound and the stitch function in the everyday lives of Chicanx and Latinx students.”
“A unique and innovative reading of Chicana feminist texts. Ramirez brings a deeply interdisciplinary and critical intersectional feminist reading and theoretical intervention to rhetorical studies.”
“Gorgeously and relentlessly introspective, The Wound and the Stitch advances a Chicana/x rhetorical genealogy of violence/healing as Ramirez builds a theory of violence that resists the simplicity of binaries. Moving across an array of moments and artifacts, she insists upon incompleteness, overlap, and ongoingness. Among its many contributions, The Wound and the Stitch is premised in a decolonial temporality that, as Ramirez explains, is something to experience, not escape.”

Loretta Victoria Ramirez is Assistant Professor of Latinx Rhetoric and Composition at California State University, Long Beach.