by Olivia Drake •
A group of Wesleyan students, led by Demian Pritchard, visiting assistant professor of Latina/o literature and culture in the English Department, attended a reading by Cherríe Moraga at Wellesley College Nov. 20.
Moraga is an influential and prolific Chicana lesbian writer of poetry, drama and essays. She is known for mixing genre in her writing as she engages issues of sexuality, race, gender and class – alongside questions of nation and language.
Her reading was titled “Still Loving in the Still War Years,” a play on the title of one of her most widely read books: Loving in the War Years, and inspired by the recent California passage of Proposition 8 barring the right for gays and lesbians to marry in the state – a right won in California recently, and quickly lost.
Moraga read from an in-process essay about her relationships with her mother and her teenage son as a frame for her reading from another in- process essay on President-elect Obama. In her essay she called upon the nation to remember its responsibility to continue to participate in the process of “change” asked for by Obama – to transform the work gone into his election inspired by “the audacity of hope” to a long-term politics of continued participation, which she called “the tenacity of hope.”
(Photo and text contributed by Demian Pritchard)