In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • MestizXXX:An autotheory
  • Migueltzinta C. Solís (bio)

Excerpt: the full text by the author is published online in the ASAP/J special issue "Transmedial Autotheory," the digital companion to this print issue, along with original GIFs by the artist.

The practice of listing identity labels in bylines for art and academia, profiles on social media, and other bios has prompted me to begin labeling myself as mestizXXX.

I have been using mestizXXX as a racial ethnic positioning, but I have put little effort into defining what exactly it means in academic terms. My use of autotheory manifests as a call for self-examination, self-reckoning, and self-obsession. It serves here as a self-defining that is about a specific experience rather than a fixed identity. This is my resistance to the scalpel of academic compartmentalization and knowledge commodification because it is not a methodology that I employ; rather, it is one that simply happens. It is a methodology that possesses me, the "researcher," the asker of the question, a reflective moment of encounter with myself as a researcher in this particular body at this particular place and time. To this effect, mestizXXX is perhaps more meaningful as a methodology than as an identity by virtue of being fluid, troubling, wild, transtemporal, and unfixed. As an identity, mestizXXX is rather unoriginal and uninteresting to me. As a methodology, as a way of being, moving and making, I find the uses of mestizXXX to extend further than my own capacity to imagine.

mestizXXX is an outgrowth of Gloria Anzaldúa's hybrid mestiza, the queer Chicana who claims Aztlán as promised land, and new Chicanx criticism and reimagining in response to Anzaldúa's work.1 It is an ethnic assemblage of experience that is defined by its sexuality—indeed, by my sexuality—a racialized positioning produced by a particular matrix of sexualized power between colonial, postcolonial, and decolonial bodies, genders, histories, and geographies.

But what in particular sets my remix of mestiza apart from Anzaldúa's original ode to [End Page 513] Indigenous/colonial mixing is that mestiz-XXX has, by virtue of its ambivalent relationship to power, an important self-criticism and self-doubt folded into its DNA. My Mexican parents raised me within a Californian Chicano-Indigenous back-to-the-lander worldview, yet now I find myself as a guest, a student, a settler, and a Grindr user on Blackfoot territory. My own embodied vectors of racial, gendered, and indigenal passing/not passing, and privilege/disempowerment, highlight territory and perversity as inextricably entwined. What is more, I am a passing transman with "female" genitalia and a reproductive system.

This place, and this point of entwined territory, body, and perversity, is the axis of power on which my vectors of self seesaw, an undulating sine of being which needs to be acknowledged and discussed as part of new Chicanx futurities and Chicanx-as-Indigenous discourse. mestizXXX appears here as a methodology borne of this particular positioning, poised to ask complex and often uncomfortable questions: If Chicanx is a landless identity, can it be Indigenous? And how does this question translate from post-Mexican identities to other settler and/or immigrant political, economic, and axiological positionings?

Someday I hope to steward property on which to be mestizXXX, but even then, I will be landless, and that's ok, that's good. I believe land back will be possible when the settler comes to know that it's ok to surrender to landlessness, that life is possible without dominion over territory. mestizXXX invites the settler to experience the freefall of landlessness.

It says, "Settler, baby, just let go."

Migueltzinta C. Solís

MIGUELTZINTA SOLÍS is a mestizXXX interdisciplinary artist and writer working in performance, video, new media and installation, fiction, nonfiction, and critical writing. His work considers questions of perversity and territory, unbelonging, (de) colonial imaginaries and Chicanx futurities. He is currently working on a PhD in Cultural, Social and Political Thought at the University of Lethbridge in Treaty 7 Territory, where he received his MFA in Art. He is trans.


1. See Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (San Francisco: Aunt Lute...


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pp. 513-514
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