My research focuses on narrative, theatre, and performance art in the Caribbean, Latin America, and larger global contexts. I research how geographic spaces transform the creation and reception of text and performance. Particularly, I investigate the effects of transnational movement in works that represent queer and transgender people.
My book manuscript Representing Queer and Transgender Identity: Fluid Bodies in the Hispanic Caribbean and Beyond (Bucknell UP, 2017) traces the intersections of global movement with transgender and queer identities from authors and artists of the Hispanic Caribbean. Utilizing the theme of fluidity and travel, I analyze works of narrative, graphic novels, theatre, and performance art. These works demonstrate how transgender and queer bodies redefine belonging, particularly national belonging, through global movement and community making practices. Through these genres, I follow the movement of transgender and queer identities from textual spaces to spaces of the body. I argue that gradual movement from text to body—as it occurs in these genres—demonstrates the variety of representational strategies that dismantle static and binary readings of gender, sexuality, and nationality. Each genre considered in this book lays bare the identity making practices engendered by literary and artistic expression.
My current vein of research and newest book project investigates the significance of the space of international theatre and performance festivals. These spaces, both physical and virtual, reshape how we conceptualize embodiment, nationality, and identity in contemporary performance art. Through this research I develop a mode of analyzing these artistic productions that I am naming the ‘hyperlocal.’ The hyperlocal reflects empowerment through ways of being in space, instead of relying solely on language or labels. The hyperlocal reflects that most intimate space of queer habitation: the body. I use the term hyperlocal identity to describe how performers reshape expressions of queer Latin American identity by representing the very personal experiences of an individual or a small community. In certain ways, performance is necessarily hyperlocal. In its enactment, it is bound in time and space. Representationally, performance responds to immediate concerns regarding space, audience, and self, and message. It is through these gestures, nuances, and ways of being that people express queer identity in the 21st century.