“Defend yourself with words, with the knowledge that you’ve gained”: An exploration of conocimiento among Latina undergraduates in ethnic studies

Tanya J. Gaxiola Serrano, Mónica González Ybarra, Dolores Delgado Bernal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Using Anzaldúa’s theory of conocimiento—a fluid journey of reflection and knowledge production—we examine how two Latina undergraduates experience critical consciousness within an ethnic studies course. We challenge that critical consciousness is an end-all, be-all state by highlighting contradictions in thinking, internal shifts, bodymindspirit, and actions that move us to praxis. These aspects of conocimiento are capable of disrupting dominant ideologies, systems of oppression, and coloniality, allowing for transformative ruptures to occur. We offer conocimiento as a way to underscore the beauty of tensions and transformations found in the processes of critical consciousness and the significant role of ethnic studies for Latinx undergraduates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Latinos and Education
Issue number3
StateE-pub ahead of print - Nov 26 2017
Externally publishedYes



  • conocimiento
  • critical consciousness
  • ethnic studies
  • Latinx
  • transformative ruptures
  • undergraduates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Education

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