Questions of citizenship, race, and representation in American cultures drive my research and teaching, and my work is animated by the possibilities of narrative forms to reflect and create our social lives. I am a scholar of Latinx cultures from the 19th century to the present and regularly teach courses in interdisciplinary American and Latinx cultures.
My first book, Before Chicano: Citizenship and the Making of Mexican American Manhood, 1848-1959 (NYUP 2018) examined a broad archive of Mexican American literatures and print culture to identify how manhood offered a discursive strategy through which Mexican Americans processed cultural integration into the United States. Theirs was not an easy task nor did it follow a linear trajectory, and Before Chicano traces the contours of an expansive archive and wide-ranging debates about Mexican American culture and gender.
My research on race, culture, and citizenship has taken a turn toward more contemporary moments. Currently, I am working on two book-length projects on Latinx narratives across media. The first, tentatively titled, Moiré Patterns: Adaptation and Post-NAFTA Latinx Cultures, examines twenty-first century Latinx media consumption and production in what I term “post-NAFTA” novels, films, and other forms of popular culture, including musical performance, art, and video games. As an aesthetic and mathematical principle, moiré patterns are large-scale interferences produced when one pattern is overlaid on another, suggestive of the adaptations, disruptions, and surprises that emerge as the boundaries between nations erode in the face of global phenomena and as narratives move transmedially. The second project is on contemporary Latinx opera, a phenomenon that emerged in the 2010s as a new and exciting space of Latinx cultural production. I approach the topic through narrative, sound studies, and participant interviews of writers and performers in several different operas.