Core Faculty: Program in Latina/o Studies (LS)
My main research interests are American and ethnic studies, queer/LGBT Hispanic Caribbean (Cuban, Dominican, Puerto Rican) studies, and U.S. Latina/o/x and Latin American literary, cultural, and performance studies. In my first book, Queer Ricans: Cultures and Sexualities in the Diaspora (University of Minnesota Press, 2009), I analyze portrayals of migration, sexual diversity, and gender nonconformity in Puerto Rican cultural productions (such as cartoons, dance theater, film, literature, and performance art) both on the island and in the United States, focusing on the lives and work of artists such as Luis Rafael Sánchez, Manuel Ramos Otero, Luz María Umpierre, Frances Negrón-Muntaner, Rose Troche, Erika López, Arthur Avilés, and Elizabeth Marrero.
In my more recent book, Translocas: The Politics of Puerto Rican Drag and Trans Performance (University of Michigan Press, 2021), I focus on migration, transvestism, and performance and argue that drag can serve not only to question gender and sexuality but also to explore commodification, cyberspace, diasporic displacements and reenactments of home, ethnicity, the human/animal divide, monstrosity, politics, poverty, race, and racial passing. Here I discuss the lives and work of artists and activists such as Javier Cardona, Lady Catiria, Kevin Fret, Monica Beverly Hillz, Erika Lopez, Freddie Mercado, Jorge Merced, Sylvia Rivera, and Holly Woodlawn, as well as the recent phenomenon of Puerto Rican participation in RuPaul’s Drag Race. I also look at documentary films such as Paris Is Burning (1990), The Salt Mines (1990), Mala Mala (2014, dir. Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles), and at the murders of Jorge Steven López Mercado and Kevin Fret.
Currently, I am working on a book on contemporary performance in Puerto Rico and am writing on artists such as Aravind Enrique Adyanthaya, Awilda Rodríguez Lora ("La Performera"), Gisela Rosario (Macha Colón), Eduardo Alegría, and Mickey Negrón. I have also continued to publish on additional transloca performers such as Walter Mercado and Fausto Fernós.
I have served on the board of directors of the CUNY Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (www.clags.org), on the Modern Language Association's Committee on the Literatures of People of Color of the United States and Canada (www.mla.org), and on the Executive Committee of the MLA's Puerto Rican Literature and Culture Discussion Group (2001-05). I was the chair of the Lesbian and Gay Studies Section (now known as the Sexualities Studies Section) of the Latin American Studies Association during 2003-04 (https://lasaweb.org/en/). I am also a member of the Puerto Rican Studies Association (https://www.ricanstudies.com/), the American Studies Association, and the Caribbean Studies Association.
Listening to Puerto Rico Teach-Out: Lawrence La Fountain Stokes
Recent and Selected Publications
“Reescribiendo «la gran familia puertorriqueña»: Tecnología, religión, percepción extrasensorial, violencia familiar y sexualidad en Las facultades de Aravind Enrique Adyanthaya.” HispanismeS: Revue de la Société des Hispanistes Français 20 (2022): 1-22. https://journals.openedition.org/hispanismes/17413
“Latina/o Studies at the University of Michigan: Negotiating Inclusion and Exclusion in the Midwest.” Diálogo: An Interdisciplinary Studies Journal 24.2 (Fall 2021): 57-78. https://muse.jhu.edu/pub/15/article/884108 (launched March 10, 2023)
“Boricuas cruzando fronteras: Autobiografías y testimonios trans puertorriqueños.” Clepsydra: Revista internacional de estudios de género y teoría feminista 21 (March 2021): 95-120. https://riull.ull.es/xmlui/handle/915/25244
“Being Mala Mala: Documentary Film and the Cultural Politics of Puerto Rican Drag and Trans Identities.” Caribbean Studies 46.2 (July-December 2018): 3-30. https://muse.jhu.edu/article/720532
Escenas transcaribeñas: ensayos sobre teatro, performance y cultura. San Juan: Isla Negra Editores, 2018.
Keywords for Latina/o Studies. Co-editor (with Deborah R. Vargas and Nancy Raquel Mirabal). New York: New York Univ. Press, 2017.
“Translocas: Migration, Homosexuality, and Transvestism in Recent Puerto Rican Performance.” emisférica 8.1 (2011). Electronic journal.
(Spanish version) “Translocas: Migración, homosexualidad y transvestismo en el performance puertorriqueño reciente.” Trans. by Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes. emisférica 8.1 (2011). Electronic journal.
(Portuguese version) “Translocas: migração, homossexualidade e transformismo na recente performance porto-riquenha.” Trans. by Pablo Assumpção Barros Costa. emisférica 8.1 (2011). Electronic journal.
“Gay Shame, Latina/o Style: A Critique of White Queer Performativity.” Michael Hames-García and Ernesto J. Martínez, eds. Gay Latino Studies: A Critical Reader. Durham: Duke University Press, 2011. 55-80.
Uñas pintadas de azul/Blue Fingernails. Bilingual collection of short stories (Spanish and English). Tempe, AZ: Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, 2009.
Recent graduate courses taught:
Interdisciplinary Approaches to Latina/o Studies
Performance and Politics in the Americas
Trans Latina/o American Drag
Recent undergraduate courses taught:
Drag in America
Gender and Sexuality in Latin America and the Caribbean
Introduction to Latina/o Studies
Literatures and Cultures of the Borderlands: The Politics of Language
- Latin American, Caribbean and US Latino/Latina Literature and Culture
- Theater and Performance Studies
- Queer, Lesbian and Gay Studies
- Women’s and Gender Studies
- Faculty: Department of American Culture (AC), Latina/o Studies (LS)
- Faculty: Department of Romance Languages & Literatures, Spanish
- Faculty Affiliate: Department of Women's and Gender Studies
- 2021 Sylvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies for Translocas, CLAGS: Center for LGBTQ Studies, City University of New York (CUNY).
- Honorable Mention, 2022 Frank Bonilla Book Award for Translocas, Puerto Rican Studies Association (PRSA).
- 2022 Blanca G. Silvestrini Award, LASA Puerto Rico Section, for "Boricuas cruzando fronteras" (Clepsydra).
- Honorable mention, 2022 Sylvia Molloy Prize for Best Article in the Humanities, LASA Sexualities Studies Section, for "Boricuas cruzando fronteras" (Clepsydra).
Field(s) of Study
- American and ethnic studies, Latina/o studies, Puerto Rican and Hispanic Caribbean studies, women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, lesbian, gay, and queer studies, theater and performance.