Latinx/Chicanx Students on the Path to Conocimiento: Critical Reflexivity Journals as Tools for Healing and Resistance in the Trump Era

Jesica Siham Fernández, Alejandra Magaña Gamero


Anzaldúa’s concept of conocimiento guides our analysis of Latinx/Chicanx students’ Critical Reflexivity Journals (CRJ) produced in an Ethnic Studies classroom at a predominantly-white institution. Through a thematic analysis procedure of students’ CRJ entries, which we describe as written testimonios, we discerned how Latinx/Chicanx students’ writings engaged their identities, reflexivity, healing, and resistance on a path toward conocimiento. Grounding our theoretical and empirical analysis in Anzaldúan thought, conocimiento is characterized by a deep reflexive critical consciousness that unfolds across seven interconnected stages. Conocimiento builds toward a liberatory transformation that Anzaldúa describes as spiritual activism, the seventh and final stage of conocimiento. The sociohistorical, culturally relevant, and student-centered curricula purported in Ethnic Studies is the focus of much scholarly writings. Our work contributes to this growing theoretical, empirical and pedagogical scholarship by specifically focusing on conocimiento. Through an Anzaldúa centered analysis of Latinx/Chicanx students’ CRJ we demonstrate how reflexive writings can facilitate students’ process of identity formation, reflexivity, healing and resistance from colonial forms of knowledge and oppression. This is especially important when considering the racist and violent sociopolitical context under the Trump Administration.


Latinx/Chicanx, identity, critical pedagogy, reflexivity, healing, conocimiento

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