Special Edition: Latina Authors – Asserting Female Agency

June 14, 2012 edited by Michele Shaul and Kathryn Quinn-Sánchez
Filed under: Latina Authors: Asserting Female Agency 



A Woman’s Portfolio: Beyond Survival to Female Agency in Rituals of Survival by Nicholasa Mohr

By Jennifer Colón

Jennifer A. Colón earned a PhD in Hispanic Literature and a minor in Critical Theory from Florida State University. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Spanish at William Jewel College in Liberty, Missouri. Her research interests include contemporary short fiction by women and technology integration in second language acquisition.


Surmounting Masculine Subjugation in the Works of Esmeralda Santiago

By Oralia Preble-Niemi

Oralia Preble-Niemi received the doctorate from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, specializing in Ibero-American Literature. Her dissertation was on poetic expression in the works by Miguel Angel Asturias. She is Emerita from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she was Professor of Spanish and Department Head of Foreign Languages & Literatures until her retirement. She has published numerous articles as parts of edited books and in scholarly journals in the United States and abroad. She has also presented scholarly papers at regional, national and international conferences. She is co-editor of the homage to Janet Pérez, El sujeto femenino en escritoras hispánicas as well as of Ilustres autores guatemaltecos de los siglos 19 y 20 and editor of Afrodita en el trópico: Erotismo y construcción del sujeto femenino en obras de autoras centroamericanas, and of Cien años de magia: Ensayos críticos sobre la obra de Miguel Angel Asturias. She has also contributed numerous essays to literary encyclopedias, such as Reference Guide to World Literature, Feminist Encyclopedia of Spanish Literature, and Feminist Encyclopedia of Latin American Literature. In addition she has translated two novels, and three collections of poetry, and selected poems by a group of Central American female poets which will shortly be published.


 Negotiating a New Identity for U.S. Latino Literature in Achy Obejas’s Ruins

By Amrita Das

Amrita Das graduated from Florida State University in 2005. She specializes in contemporary U.S. Latino Literature. Recent publications include “Global Health and Politics: Julia Alvarez’s Saving the World” (Coastal Review, 2008) and “Gaze of the Outsider/Insider: U.S. Latino Authors Writing of Latin America” (Hipertexto, 2011). Her book chapter “Environmental Crisis and the Male Culture in Marie Arana’s Cellophane,” in an upcoming volume on Hispanic Women Writers of the 21st Century (Routledge). She is currently an Assistant Professor of Spanish at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.


“Shooting Arrows with My Heart” – An Exploration of Ana Castillo’s Genre Jumping

By Maria-Cristina Ghiban

Maria-Cristina Ghiban graduated from the English Language and Literature Department at the Faculty of Letters in “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iasi, Romania earning her M.A. in the American Cultural Studies Program. She is currently a PhD candidate in “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iasi, and a beneficiary of funding by the European Social Fund in Romania under the responsibility of the Managing Authority for the Sectoral Operational Program for Human Resources Development (2007-2013). A member of the Iasi LINGUACULTURE Research Centre, the Romanian Association of American Studies (RAAS) and the European Association of American Studies (EAAS), her research interests include Chicano/a literature, cultural and gender studies. Her doctoral dissertation (in progress) is entitled “The Female Subject in Chicano/a Literature.”




Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa’s Daughters of the Stone: Affirming the Afro-Latin

With Danielle Georges

Danielle Georges is an Associate Professor in the Creative Arts in the Learning Division of Lesley University, and the author of a book of poems Maroon (Curbstone Press, 2001). Recent poems, essays, and reviews of hers have appeared in The Bill Moyers Journal (PBS Program), The Caribbean Writer’s Special Issue on Haiti, the Boston Haitian Reporter, Consequence, and The Women’s Review of Books. 

Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in New York City. She taught in the New York City School system before becoming a young adult librarian. She currently leads creative writing workshops for adults, young adults and seniors.

Daughters of the Stone was selected by Black Pearl Magazine and LatinoStories.com as one of 2010’s best fiction works, and as a finalist for the prestigious 2010 PEN America Bingham Literary Award. Llanos-Figueroa is also the recipient of the Bronx Council on the Arts ACE and BRIO Award, and its Literary Arts Fellowship.

Her short fiction and essays have appeared in publications including Lost and Found: An Anthology of Teacher Writing, Acts of Emancipation: An Anthology of Teacher Writing, Rosebud, Chicken Soup for the Latino Soul, Growing Up Girl: An Anthology of Voices from Marginalized Spaces, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Older and Wiser, When Last on the Mountain: A View from Writers Over Fifty, Wordsect, Narrative Magazine, Woman’s Work: The Short Stories, and Women Writing on Family.

For more on Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa, visit www.llanosfigueroa.com




Without A Name

By Sarah Rafael García
Sarah Rafael García was born in Brownsville, Texas and raised in Orange County, California. She started writing after her father’s passing in 1988. She obtained a Bachelors of Science in Sociology at Texas State University, is bilingual in Spanish and knows enough Mandarin to speak to pre-k students and taxi drivers in China. She has lived in Beijing and traveled to various countries including a three-month backpacking adventure in Australia. She is an active writer, blogger, community educator and published author who strives to advocate for human rights.
Since the publication of Las Niñas, A Collection of Childhood Memories in 2008, she has continued to share her writings and community outreach by founding *Barrio Writers* in 2009, a reading and writing program aimed to empower youth through creative writing, higher education and the cultural arts. In 2010, she initiated *Wild Womyn Writers,* community workshops that
create spaces that help womyn explore their creative spirits, free themselves from societal restrictions and learn to embrace their natural instincts. Most recently, her essay “Crossing Borders” was published in Connotation Press in April 2011. Her writings, workshops and lifestyle promote community empowerment, cultural awareness and global sharing. www.sarahrafaelgarcia.com



By Kurma Murrain

Colombian poet Kurma Murrain graduated from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. She is currently an ESL/Math Teacher for CMS (Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools) in Charlotte, NC where she resides with her dog. Her poetry collection Esta Soy was published in 1998 and her poems have appeared in newspapers like El Tiempo (Colombia), and La Noticia, and Que Pasa (Charlotte, NC). She translated to Spanish Life in the Shadow of the Swastika by Frieda E. Roos-van Hessen, and Honoring God with my Life by Miriam Nadler and has participated in several individual and group poetry readings at libraries, universities, and galleries in Charlotte and her native country. Currently, Kurma is collaborating with five other Charlotte poets on a bilingual poetry collection. Kurma teaches Zumba in her free time.


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