Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Ammiel Alcalay

Committee Members

Duncan Faherty

Sonali Perera

Subject Categories

African American Studies | Arts and Humanities | Ethnic Studies | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Hip Hop Studies | Latina/o Studies | Puerto Rican Studies | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Women's Studies


Witchy Womanism, Pussy Power, BIPOC Feminisms, Queer Consciousness, Black Consciousness, Yoniverse


Witchy womanism is a critical methodology for reading, teaching, and writing about literature in order to generate emancipatory knowledge, activate Queer, Black, and Indigenous consciousnesses, contribute to 21st century women’s, Black, and Indigenous liberation movements, and foster (re)connections to ancestral rituals and knowledge. Born at the intersections of Black Studies, BIPOC Queer and Gender Studies, Caribbean Studies, English, Hip-Hop Studies and Latinx Studies, “‘The Power of Three Will Set Us Free’: Witchy Womanist Readings of Toni Morrison's Sula, Opal Palmer Adisa's It Begins With Tears, and Migdalia Cruz's The Have-Little and Miriam's Flowers" is a multidisciplinary analysis of AfroIndigenous diasporic women's literature written in the late 20th century. Drawing on the theories and practices of third and fourth-wave Black, Latina, Indigenous, and Arab feminists along with 21st century movements including #MeToo and #SayHerName, this dissertation celebrates pussy power, the rise of the witch/bruja ,and the return to African and Indigenous spiritual traditions from my Queer, Latina, femme, scholar-activist-educator perspective. Witchy womanism is a literary theory, a best practice in education, and a liberatory strategy and methodology that can guide us into a progressive, inclusive, revolutionary future inside and outside of academia where we let go of cisgender heteronormativity and patriarchy, white supremacy, cissexism, ableism, and all other manners of thinking that limit our imaginations, our bodies, and our souls. Another world—academic and otherwise—is indeed possible if we follow a witchy womanist roadmap for repair, healing, and transformation.