Susana N. Ramírez was born in south central Los Angeles and is a queer nepantlera visionary, scholar, educator and spiritual activist living in San Antonio, Texas. Her immediate family comes from Zacatecas, Mexico, and she is the great-granddaughter of the Wixáritari people. Nepantlera is Gloria E. Anzaldúa’s term, inspired by the Náhuatl concept of nepantla meaning in-between-ness, for those who facilitate passages between worlds. As part of her work as a “nepantlera,” she bridges many caminos, including: academia, community activism, and traditional medicine.
She is a first-generation, Ph.D. candidate in English teaching Women’s Studies and English courses at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She obtained a master’s degree in Women’s Studies from Texas Woman’s University, where her focus was on Anzaldúa’s children’s literature. In addition, she holds an undergraduate degree in English from the University of California Los Angeles. She has published: “Recovering Gloria Anzaldúa’s Sci-Fi Roots: Nepantler@ Visions in the Unpublished and Published Speculative Precursors to Borderlands” with UCLA’s Aztlán. She is a reflection of her academic community, especially, Sonia Saldívar-Hull, AnaLouise Keating, Norma E. Cantú, Joycelyn Moody, Jackie T. Cuevas, and Ben V. Olguín, who supported her through higher education.
Inspired by women of color feminisms and womanism, she has worked on various transnational art and organizing efforts including the 26th Annual San Antonio International Woman’s Day March, Fandangeando con Mujeres, and UTSA’s Women’s History Month 2014. These different community projects highlight the voices of those pushed to the margins and shadows. She has also published two creative pieces: “My Coming Out Letter to Gloria Anzaldúa” with Third Woman Press and “Entrega Total” with Mujeres de Maiz. She supports independent feminist publishers and believes writing for the next seven generations is a form of activism and social/spiritual change.
As her life calling, she has returned to the path her grandmothers paved for her since birth as a curandera. She is a practioner of Mexican traditional medicine (MTM) and indigenous ceremony. She is learning from Mexican curandera, Reverend Virginia Marie Rincon, and from her familia’s rich stories of natural healing. In San Antonio, she is a member of a collective of beautiful curanderas invested in sharing MTM, especially with youth, LGBTQIA*, and activists of color. Her madrinas, Rosa Tupina Yaotonalcuahtli and Yvette Mendez, guide her spiritual camino of re-membering, honoring the Earth, and sacred connection to abuela Meztli through the Mexica Huitzilmeztli moondance ceremony. Finally, she is a practioner of the Lukumí religion. She is indebted to her padrino, Nick Jones, and her Lukumí community for reconnecting her with her ancestors in profound new ways.