Larry La Fountain-Stokes, Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of Women’s and Gender Studies and chair of the Department of American Culture, recently received three awards for his work in Puerto Rican and transgender studies.

La Fountain-Stokes received the 2022 Blanca G. Silvestrini Prize granted by the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Puerto Rico Section. Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, he wrote the article, “Boricuas cruzando fronteras: autobiografías y testimonios trans puertorriqueños” about Puerto Rican trans memoirs and autobiographical/testimonial discourse focusing on four persons (Sylvia Rivera, Holly Woodlawn, Soraya, and Lizza Fernanda/Luis Felipe Díaz). The article was published in Clepsydra: Revista de Estudios de Género y Teoría Feminista 21.  

The Blanca G. Silvestrini Prize honors the legacy and impact of Blanca G. Silvestrini’s work in Puerto Rican Studies and is given to an article in English or Spanish that focuses on Puerto Rican culture, history, issues and topics. According to the Association, submissions were reviewed by a panel of scholars of Puerto Rican Studies, and the prize includes “a plaque and a modest monetary award.”

For the same article, La Fountain-Stokes received an honorable mention for the 2022 Sylvia Molloy Prize for “Best Article in the Humanities” granted by the LASA (Latin American Studies Association) Sexualities Studies Section.

La Fountain-Stokes was also co-winner of the Sylvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies for 2021-22 which honors the memory of Rivera, a transgender activist. CLAGS: The Center for LGBT Studies awarded the best book or article to appear in transgender studies this past year, and La Fountain-Stokes was featured for his book Translocas: The Politics of Puerto Rican Drag and Trans Performance.  

According to La Fountain-Stokes, Translocas focuses on migration, transvestism, and performance and argues 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. The book featured the lives and work of artists/activists and explored documentaries, performances and literary representations.

La Fountain-Stokes is a core faculty member of the Latina/o Studies Program. He received degrees from Columbia University and Harvard University in Spanish and Portuguese, and Hispanic studies respectively. He has been with the University of Michigan since 2003 and single-authored three books and numerous journal articles.

Twitter: @LarryLaFountain