I am currently an assistant professor of English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University, and starting in Fall 2020, I will be an assistant professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Bowdoin College. I obtained my PhD in English with a graduate minor in Gender Studies from the University of Notre Dame in 2016. I teach and write in the fields of youth literatures, queer studies, and screen cultures, with particular interests in queer young adult literature and culture, teen cinema, video games, Latinx cultures, and theorizations of time/space.
My identity as a teacher, writer, and researcher is significantly inflected by my experiences as a queer, Puerto Rican, first-generation student and scholar. As a professor trained in both literary and gender studies, with a particular investment in queer methodologies and social justice, I push people to engage in exchanges of intellectual discourse that will help them to determine the relationship between texts, cultural contexts, and the self. I not only want to help people to develop the capacity to question binary and normative modes of thinking, but I also want them to challenge and dismantle ideas and knowledges that lead to hierarchical, discriminatory, and oppressive discourse.
Although my research interests vary, most of my projects focus on queer texts and youth cultures. My current book project, tentatively titled The Reparative Possibilities of Queer Young Adult Literature and Culture (Routledge 2021), is a rigorous exploration of the queer imagination in texts and media created for teen audiences. In this book, I explore how a selection of queer teen texts and films connect to the broader history of cultural hurt and oppression that has haunted the queer “canon” and imagination. I also consider how contemporary queer teen texts encapsulate an important and enduring change in terms of how queerness is—or can be—read, perceived, and experienced. Many of my secondary projects use queer approaches to examine how film and media use space and place to stage various intersections of identity. Recent examples of these secondary projects include a queer analysis of space and the body in Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda series and an exploration of suburban space and ideological whiteness in Greg Berlanti’s 2018 teen film Love, Simon. I also co-edited a book entitled Media Crossroads: Intersections of Space and Identity in Screen Cultures with Pamela Robertson Wojcik and Paula Massood, which will be published by Duke University Press in 2021.
In addition to my teaching, research, and writing, I am also open to offering talks and public lectures on queer youth literature, media, and culture. I’ve been invited to offer upcoming lectures hosted by The University of Cambridge, the Center for Children’s Books at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and the University of British Columbia (which was cancelled due to COVID-19). If you are interested in inviting me to offer a talk or lecture, please contact me via email or social media using the links above and below.