Label Me Latina/o Special Issue Summer 2020: (Un)natural Disasters: Sites of Resistance Volume X

July 14, 2020 edited by Michele Shaul and Kathryn Quinn-Sánchez
Filed under: Special Issue 2020: (Un)Natural Disasters: Sites of Resistance, Spring 

Introduction: (Un)Natural Disasters

By Lorna Pérez, Editor

Lorna Pérez is an associate professor in the English Department at Buffalo State College (SUNY) where she teaches Latinx, Multiethnic, and American Literatures. Her research interests include postcolonialism, feminism, borderland theory, race and ethnicity, and comparative ethnic studies. Her most recent work “Out of Time: Resisting the Nation in One Hundred Years of Solitude” appears in The Palgrave Handbook of Magical Realism in the Twenty-first Century. She has published critical work on Sandra Cisneros, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Esmeralda Santiago, and Alicia Gaspar de Alba. Her poetry has appeared in this publication, as well as in The Mississippi Review, elimae, and BlazeVox18. Her current book project is a consideration of spectrality and haunting in Latinx Literature.

Narratives of Infectious Threat and Contagion Crises in Contemporary Immigration Rhetoric

By Carmen R. Lugo-Lugo and Mary K. Bloodsworth-Lugo

Carmen R. Lugo-Lugo is a professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies and Director of the School of Languages, Cultures, and Race at Washington State University. Her books, Feminism After 9/11: Women’s Bodies as Cultural and Political Threat (2017), Projecting 9/11: Race, Gender, and Citizenship in Recent Hollywood Films (2014), and Containing (Un)American Bodies: Race, Sexuality, and Post-9/11 Constructions of Citizenship (2010) were co-authored with Mary K. Bloodsworth-Lugo. Her edited collection, A New Kind of Containment: “The War on Terror,” Race, and Sexuality (2009) was co-edited with Mary K. Bloodsworth-Lugo, and her book, Animating Difference: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Contemporary Films for Children (2010), was co-authored with C. Richard King and Mary K. Bloodsworth-Lugo. Dr. Lugo-Lugo has also published over 40 refereed journal articles and book chapters on cultural productions of 9/11, cultural constructions of race, culture, citizenship, immigration, and gender, as well as Latinas/os in US popular culture.

Mary K. Bloodsworth-Lugo is a professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies, graduate director of American Studies and Culture, and Elma Ryan Bornander Honors Chair at Washington State University. She has authored, co-authored, or co-edited seven books, including Feminism After 9/11: Women’s Bodies as Cultural and Political Threat (2017), Projecting 9/11: Race, Gender, and Citizenship in Recent Hollywood Film (2014), Race, Philosophy, and Film (2013), Containing (Un)American Bodies: Race, Sexuality, and Post-9/11 Constructions of Citizenship (2010), and In-Between Bodies: Sexual Difference, Race, and Sexuality (2007). Bloodsworth-Lugo teaches in the areas of race and racism in U.S. popular culture and film, race theory, constructions of U.S. citizenship, gender and sexuality, and embodiment. Her research during the past twenty years, with Carmen R. Lugo-Lugo, has primarily focused on the ideological and rhetorical aftermath of September 11, 2001, including how threatening or enemy others have been constructed in US society in a post-9/11 era.

Who and What Are You? Tracing the Middle Passage in Afro-Latinx Writing

By Karen S. Christian

Karen S. Christian is a professor of Spanish at California Polytechnic State University, where she teaches Caribbean, Latin American, and Latinx literatures and cultures. She is the author of Show and Tell: Identity as Performance in U.S. Latina/o Fiction (1997) and has published articles on Cuban and Cuban American narrative, Latinx literature, and service learning in Latinx immigrant communities. Recent publications include “Trauma in the Caribbean: Postmemory and the Persistence of History in Latinx Narrative” (forthcoming in Studies in American Culture); “Postmemory, ‘CubAngst,’ and the Genetics of Trauma in Cuban American Fiction” (Reading Cuba: Discurso literario y geografía transcultural, 2018); and “Weaving a Larger Web: Cuban American Writing in the Latin@ Narrative” (Latino Studies, 2017). Her current research focuses on trauma, (post)memory, race, and identity in contemporary Latinx fiction. Dr. Christian received the Cal Poly Distinguished Teaching Award for 2015-2016.

De-naturalizing Surviving: Domestic Violence, Narrative, and Social Justice in the Aftermath of Hurricane Maria

By Roberta Hurtado and Omara Rivera-Vázquez

Roberta Hurtado is an Assistant Professor of Latina/o Literature and Culture at SUNY Oswego. Her recently published book, Decolonial Puerto Rican Women’s Writings: Subversion in the Flesh, examines diasporic writings that depict flesh experiences of consciousness and resistance. She has also published with ChiricúDiálogo, and El Mundo Zurdo. Her research interests include epigenetics, historical trauma, decolonial feminist theory, and Latina literature.

Omara Rivera-Vázquez is the Grants Manager for the Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services. She is also an Adjunct Professor in Criminal Justice at SUNY- Oswego. Her research interests include victimization among underserved populations, risk and protective factors for child abuse, and impacts of natural disasters on domestic violence rates.

“Borikén Libre”: Spaces of Resistance in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

By Luis R. Alvarez-Hernández

Luis R. Alvarez-Hernández (he/him/él) is a bilingual Licensed Clinical Social Worker and social work PhD student at the University of Georgia. Luis was born and raised in Morovis, Puerto Rico, and has been living in the diaspora for over 10 years. His social work practice and research focuses on the well-being of marginalized groups and their acts of resistance and resilience against experiences of violence and oppression.

First Voyage

By Elías Miguel Muñoz

Elías Miguel Muñoz is a Cuban-born prose writer and poet. His critically acclaimed novels include Crazy Love (1989), The Greatest Performance (1991), Brand New Memory (1998), Vida mía (2006), and Diary of Fire (2016). Muñoz’s stories, memoirs, and essays have appeared in numerous anthologies, including the Handbook of Hispanic Cultures in the United States (1993), W.W. Norton’s New Worlds of Literature (1994), Muy Macho: Latino Men Confront Their Manhood (1996), The Encyclopedia of American Literature (1999), Herencia: The Anthology of Hispanic Literature of the United States (2002), The Scribner Writers Series: Latino and Latina Writers (2004), Ambientes: New Queer Latino Writing (2011), and Best Gay Stories 2012 (2012). After leaving his native Cuba as a child, Muñoz lived in Spain, California, Kansas, Washington D.C., and New Mexico. He currently resides in California.

Return of Las Maris

By Diana Burbano

Diana Burbano, a Colombian immigrant, is a playwright, an Equity actor, and a teaching artist at South Coast Repertory and Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble. Diana’s play Ghosts of Bogota, recently won the Nu Voices festival at Actors Theatre of Charlotte. Ghosts was commissioned and debuted at Alter Theater in the Bay Area in Feb 2020. She was in Center Theatre Group’s 2018-19 Writers Workshop cohort. She has worked on community projects with South Coast Repertory, Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble and Center Theatre Group. As an actor Diana has recently played Amalia in Jose Cruz Gonzales’ American Mariachi at South Coast Repertory, as well as Marisela in Isaac Gomez’ La Ruta at Artists Repertory Theatre. You can also see her as Viv the Punk in the cult musical Isle of Lesbos. Diana’s plays focus on female Latinx protagonists.

Plays include (among others):  Sapience, Policarpa, Fabulous Monsters, & Caliban’s Island.


By Tania Romero

Born in Nicaragua, Tania Romero is a media production instructor, poet, scholar, and award-winning filmmaker.  She has a passion for languages, cultures, and travel.  Her work as an artist concerns the immigrant experience and she believes that digital arts can create the possibility for civic engagement, socio-political awareness, and participatory action.