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K-State Today

August 20, 2015

Millán publishes Signs article on contested children's literature

Submitted by Melisa Posey

Isabel Millán, assistant professor of American ethnic studies, published an article in leading international journal, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.

Her article, "Contested Children's Literature: Que(e)ries into Chicana and Central American Autofantasías," is now available on JSTOR, Signs volume 41, no. 1.

Millán analyzes the political resilience and relevance of children's literature produced by Chicanas and Centroaméricanas. She compares Honduran author Melissa Cardoza's children's book "Tengo una tía que no es monjita" ("I have an aunt who is not a little nun") Mexico, 2004, with Chicana author Gloria Anzaldúa's children's book "Amigos del otro lado" ("Friends from the Other Side") United States, 1993.

The first text introduces readers to Meli, an eight-year-old girl who discovers her aunt's romantic relationship with another woman. In the second text readers meet Prietita, a Chicana who befriends Joaquín, an undocumented boy. Her analysis of each picture book prioritizes the authors' use of autobiographical material alongside the texts' narrative arcs and intended audiences. Both Anzaldúa and Cardoza engage in what she terms autofantasía, a literary technique incorporating elements of autobiography and fantasy fiction writing.