Border literacies: A critical literacy framework from Nepantla: A critical literacy framework from nepantla

Enrique David Degollado, Idalia Nuñez, Minea Armijo Romero

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Borne out of the ashes of conquest, the borderlands represent the 2,000 mile stretch between the United States and Mexico where, “the Third World grates against the first and bleeds,” creating “una herida abierta”—an open wound (Anzaldúa, 1987, p. 25). For those who inhabit this in-between space, the epigraph encapsulates their way of life: straddling epistemologies and ontologies that are neither here nor there but both, and contradictory at the same time. In this chapter, we examine the unique role the borderlands play in birthing a border literacy. Grounded in the work of Gloria Anzaldúa (1987) and Walter Mignolo (2000), we argue that border literacies are critical literacies embodied and employed for reading the word and world (Freire & Macedo, 2005). In doing so, those who practice and manifest a border literacy navigate systems of oppression like hegemonic white- ness (Hooks, 1992; Flores, 2013). We also discuss the implications for border literacy in research and practice and the need to recognize these practices as social justice, anti-racist, and anti-colonial practices in our schools and society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Critical Literacies
EditorsJessica Zacher Pandya, Raul Alberto Mora, Jennifer Helen Alford, Noah Asher Golden, Roberto Santiago de Roock
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781000430868
ISBN (Print)9780367902599, 9780367902605
StatePublished - Sep 4 2021


  • Border literacies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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