Label Me Latina/o Spring 2019 Volume IX

March 12, 2019 edited by Michele Shaul and Kathryn Quinn-Sánchez
Filed under: Spring 


Making Home in the In-Between: A Trans Coming-of-Age Aesthetic in Jaime Cortez’s Sexile

By Jennifer Irish

Jennifer E. Irish is an Assistant Professor of Spanish and Coordinator of the Spanish Program at Ferrum College in southwest Virginia. Her research focuses on Hispanic Caribbean narratives of exile, immigration, and marginalization of gendered, racial, and sexual others in both the Caribbean and the United States. 

Jennifer E. Irish is an Assistant Professor of Spanish and Coordinator of the Spanish Program at Ferrum College in southwest Virginia. Her research focuses on Hispanic Caribbean narratives of exile, immigration, and marginalization of gendered, racial, and sexual others in both the Caribbean and the United States. 

With His Pistol in Her Hand: Capable Women, Reluctant Heroes, and a Bad Case of Mijito Syndrome in Américo Paredes’ George Washington Gómez

By Melanie Hernandez

Melanie Hernandez is Assistant Professor of English at Fresno State, where she teaches courses in American literature and cultural production.  She specializes in nineteenth-century U.S. literature, with an emphasis on comparative African American and Chicanx Studies. Her ongoing research focuses on strategic racial performance, authenticity politics and social policing, and violent racial satire.  Prior to teaching, Dr. Hernandez worked in television and radio, including the Oxygen network, ABC’s The View, radio station K-EARTH 101, Saturday Night Live!, E! News Daily, The Howard Stern Show, and Eyewitness News.  She prefers teaching.

The Visionary Power of Chicana Girls in Virginia Grise’s blu

By Ariana A. Vigil

Ariana E. Vigil is an associate professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. She is the author of War Echoes: Gender and Militarization in U.S. Latina/o Cultural Production (Rutgers University Press, 2014) and Understanding Francisco Goldman (University of South Carolina Press, 2018). She conducts teaching and research in contemporary Latina/o cultural production, focusing on issues of gender and sexuality, militarization, and transnationalism. Her work has appeared in meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, Latino Studies, and Revista de Literatura Mexicana Contemporánea. She is currently working a project that places Latina/o literature in conversation with media and communication studies.

Creative Non-Fiction

Borne of Ghosts

By Melissa Santiago

Melissa Annette Santiago is a mother, teacher, and author who holds both an M.A. and B.A. in English Literature. Puerto Rican by descent, her graduate work thus far has centered on how discourse is used to shape identity. Her areas of interest include American Literature, U.S. Multi-Ethnic Literature, Postcolonial Literature and Space and Place Studies. Her published works include a critical article entitled “Approaching the ‘Realized:’ Time and the ‘Abject’ in Kiese Laymon’s Long Division,” printed in The Journal of the Future Humanities (Fall 2018). She is currently a student in the Ph.D. in Comparative Studies Program at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.

San Martín de mis amores

By Monica Reyna Saavedra

Monica Reyna Saavedra was born and raised in Lima – Peru and has a passion for acting and story telling. She started taking acting lessons at an early age and performed in theater and school plays through her teenage years starring in “The Diary of Anne Frank”, “Trees Die Standing Tall”, “Sargeant Canuto”, “The Doctor in Spite of Himself” among others. In 1992 Monica moved to the United States and has lived in Charlotte ever since. After being away from acting for several years, she returned to stage with Theatre Charlotte as La Poncia in 2009 staged reading of The House of Bernarda Alba, by Federico Garcia Lorca. She also participated in “Con A de Arte” in 2010 and “Story Telling Night – Noche de Cuentos” hosted by Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. In most recent years Monica’s versatility has been proven with her collaboration with Queens University, UNCC Department of Theater, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, and The Mint Museum in plays such as “El Regalo de San Valentin”, “Mama Goose” and “The Vagina Monologues”.  not only performing for adult and children audiences in English and Spanish, but also co-directing “The Vagina Monologues” in 2017 and directing “The Tenth Muse” produced by Rafael Osuba with Artist Studio Project in collaboration with Queens University of Charlotte and Meredith College in Raleigh. Monica recently directed “Despacito a Belen”, a bilingual children’s play produced by mexican organization Tlahtolcalli and Levine Museum of the New South. Other participations include being a featured artist at “Con A de Arte 2013”, background artist for TV film “Westbrook High”, as well as dramatic readings and poetry. Currently Monica works at Duke Energy, and in her free time she performs locally as an event/show host at family gatherings under the name Rocotita Show.

A Busted Window or My Observation of Luz Moreno, mi Tia Paty

By Rosa Lisbeth Navarrette

Rosa Lisbeth Navarrete is a Peruana raised in Los Angeles since the age of five. Her journey as an immigrant mujer in this country drives her creative work. She freelances as Video Producer, Editor, Writer, Actor, Director and Movement Teaching Artist in Southern California. Rosa’s latest film project “Matriarchy” (#MATRIARCHYshortfilm) was screened at The Schwules Museum in Berlin, Germany (2018) and CINEARTE: A Latinx Queer Film & Arts Festival ‘Latinx en Acción!’ Shorts Program (2018). Her short plays and theatrical writing contributions have been shared with Urban Theatre Movement, Highways Performance Space, and Chicanas, Cholas Y Chisme. Her poetry has been published in St. Sucia: A Zine Exposing What It Is to Be a Mujer in Contemporary Society, Issue IX Aquí Y Ahora (2017), and has been shared at El Hormiguero Pacoima (2019), Fullerton Museum (2017 & 2018), Fresno LitHop (2017) and more. Rosa recently worked with Angela’s Pulse ( in a community organized project titled Pittsfield Moves! funded by the Ford Foundation and supported by Jacob’s Pillow in Massachusetts (#pittsfieldmoves). Education: University of California, Berkeley; English B.A with minors in Dance Performance and Creative Writing. Certification in Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis (CLMA) with Integrated Movement Studies ( Pre-professional film training with Inner-City Filmmakers. | More info:


Animal extraño

By Eunice Rojas

Eunice Rojas is an Associate Professor of Latin American Literature and Cultural Studies at Furman University whose family history winds itself from Colombia to the United States with a long detour through Spain. She currently studies music dealing with social justice issues from all parts of the Spanish speaking world, but particularly from Chile. She is also the author of Spaces of Madness: Insane Asylums in Argentine Narrative and the co-editor of Sounds of Resistance: The Role of Music in Multicultural Activism. 

Write Your Words

By Eddy Francisco Alvarez Jr.

Eddy Francisco Alvarez Jr. is Assistant Professor in the Departments of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and University Studies at Portland State University. His creative and scholarly work has been published in TSQ, Aztlan, and Revista Bilingue/Bilingual Review. He is co-chair of the Association for Jotería Arts, Activism, and Scholarship (AJAAS). 

Misa para las Sumisas

By Natalie Murphy

Natalie Murphy is a fourth year psychology student with minors in both Spanish and Creative Writing at Queens University of Charlotte. She was born in Ireland to an Irish father and a Spanish mother and spent her childhood in the open greenery of County Mayo. As a little girl, she expressed an interest in her mother’s native language and upon request, was given Spanish language-learning books so that she could begin teaching herself the language. At ten years of age, her family, including her parents and her older brother, emigrated from Ireland to the United States. From there, she spent her teen years immersed in the arts, whether it was dancing, drawing portraits, playing the piano, acting in plays or writing stories in her notebooks. Because of her Catholic schooling, she developed a social awareness for the psychological effects of this particular religion and often writes poetry and fiction about these experiences from the perspective of her adult secular life. In the future, she will be continuing her studies to eventually complete a PhD in neuroscience so that she can continue to enrich her life with both the answers that science gives and the stage to express these answers that art provides.

Woke Light

By Fabiola Bagula

Fabiola Bagula was born and raised in San Diego, CA and Tijuana, MX.  Most of her academic life was spent in San Diego, but she was also one of the many students who crossed the border daily.  She received her BA in English and Spanish Lit from UCSD and her Masters degree and Ph.D. from USD.  She has been a teacher, vice principal, principal, university adjunct faculty, assistant superintendent and is currently an executive leadership coach. Fabiola has dedicated her educational career to issues of equity, which is often rewarding and frustrating. She continues to live a life in liminal spaces. 

Short Story

Soy Phillipa, la bicicleta inglesa

By Margarita Dager-Uscocovich

Margarita Dager-Uscocovich was born on October 31, 1967 in the beautiful city of Guayaquil in Ecuador, and she has loved writing since she was a little girl. She started writing for the school newspaper at age twelve becoming editor in 1983 of the Urdesa High School Newspaper. Having parents from two different cultural backgrounds (Lebanese father and Spanish-Portuguese mother) as well as having lived in various countries in Europe and the Americas, has given her a broad perspective on many different areas of life; it has allowed her to communicate her emotions to a varied audience through her writing. Her work has been included in different international anthologies (Argentina, Spain, Mexico, Uruguay and the USA). Her editorials have also appeared in Mundo Latino, a local Charlotte newspaper, and travel chronicles in the Miami online magazine La Nota Latina.  Her poetry has been included in Arte Latino Now exhibitions at Queens University of Charlotte as well as in Actors Studio Project annual El Quixote Festival.


By Martha Batiz

Martha Batiz was born and raised in Mexico City, but has been living in Toronto since 2003. Her articles, chronicles, reviews and short stories have appeared in diverse newspapers and magazines not only in her homeland, but also in Spain, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Peru, Ireland, England, the United States and Canada.  She’s the author of two short-story collections: A todos los voy a matar (I’m Going To Kill Them All, Castillo Press, Mexico, 2000), and De tránsito (In Transit, Terranova Editores, Puerto Rico, 2014). Her award-winning novella The Wolf’s Mouth (Exile Editions, 2009) was originally published in Spanish both in the Dominican Republic and in Mexico (Boca de lobo, in 2007 and 2008, respectively), and was launched as an ebook by INK Press in the summer of 2015. It appeared in the spring of 2018 in its French translation as La Gueule du Loup (Lugar Común Editorial), and was released again in its English version in November 2018 as Damiana’s Reprieve (Exile Editions). Her latest short-story collection, titled Plaza Requiem: Stories at the Edge of Ordinary Lives (Exile Editions, 2017), was the sole nominee for the International Latino Book Award in the category of “Best Popular Fiction: English.” Martha is the founder of the Creative Writing in Spanish courses offered at the University of Toronto (the only ones of their kind in Canada), and she teaches Spanish, literature, and translation at York University/ Glendon Campus. In 2014, Martha was featured in Latinos Magazine among the Top Ten Most Successful Mexicans in Canada. In 2015, she was chosen as one of the Top Ten Most Influential Hispanic-Canadians