My publications and research are in the areas of U.S. Latino literature and culture, hemispheric American and borderlands literature and culture, the baroque/neobaroque/New World baroque, and critical theory. I also teach courses on 20th- and 21st-century American literature. My work has been published in American Literature, Comparative Literature, Contemporary Literature, CR: The New Centennial Review, MLQ, Modernism/modernity, Modern Fiction Studies, and PMLA.
Recent book projects:
My current book project, “What Comes after Poststructuralism? New Ecological Realisms in Contemporary Theory and Postapocalyptic Fiction” examines a paradigm shift in the wake of structuralism and poststructuralism—a trend towards new realisms. Within the broader movement of this ontological turn after poststructuralism, I orient myself towards a realism of complex wholes, actor-networks, and ecologies, rather than a realism of isolated parts and things. I explore applications of these ideas in close readings of recent postapocalyptic fiction (such as Atwood’s Maddaddam series and McCarthy’s The Road) that depicts life after the destruction of modern civilization as we know it.
Baroque New Worlds: Representation, Transculturation, Counterconquest (co-edited with Lois Parkinson Zamora, Duke UP 2010), is a collection that traces the changing nature of baroque representation in Europe and the Americas across four centuries, from its 17th-century origins as a Counter-Reformation and monarchical aesthetic and ideology to its contemporary function as a postcolonial ideology aimed at disrupting entrenched power structures and perceptual categories. Neobaroque in the Americas: Alternative Modernities in Literature, Visual Art, and Film (Virginia UP 2012), is a comparative, hemispheric American study of the neobaroque, the 20th- (and 21st-) century recovery of the baroque in modern and postmodern North American and Latin American literature, film, visual arts, and theory. It examines understudied baroque writers and trends, such as the baroque revival in Anglo American modernism as well as popular baroques in U.S. Latino/a visual culture and art. Reflecting on the rich, non-linear transhistorical and transcultural genealogy of baroque expression, Neobaroque in the Americas envisions the baroque as an anti-proprietary expression that brings together seemingly disparate writers and artists. Opening with a portrait of neobaroque T.S. Eliot and closing with analyses of contemporary baroques in Chicano lowriders and the Hip Hop baroque in Cuban American art, it also examines the major works of Djuna Barnes, contemporary anti-dictatorship literature and film from Chile and Argentina by Diamela Eltit, José Donoso, Raúl Ruiz and María Luisa Bemberg, and the work of Mexican American artists Amalia Mesa-Bains and Rubén Ortiz Torres.