Tace Hedrick

Tace’s research is centered on two areas: US Latinx/Chicanx and Latin American Studies, focusing especially on cultural history; and popular genre studies, focusing on Latina/Chicana “chica lit” and gothic romance. Her current project is tentatively called “Queering the Cosmic Race: Spirituality, Sexuality, and Race in New Age Latin/o America, 1968-2010.” This project looks at a long twentieth-century history of how notions of race and sexuality were both shaped and filtered through Latin American, and later United States Latinx, receptions of spiritual belief systems such as teosofismo (Theosophy) and spiritismo (Spiritism). Discourses and images of race and sexuality (such as mestizaje, indigenismo, sexual eugenics) were more often than not mapped onto Latin American imaginings about the ancient ways of indigenous peoples. In turn, such images and ideas received through the filters of teosofimo, spiritismo, and what is now often called New Age re-manifest themselves in the ways Latinx/Chicanx artists and writers have re-imagined racialized and sexualized images and ideas from the late 1960s forward. The imagery of what sociologists of religion call New Religious Movements (NRM), attempted throughout the twentieth-century to respond to dominant discourses. These attempts are an important texture of the thinking both of the political and artistic elite as well as middle- and working-class Latin Americans in places as diverse as Chile, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Thus I read the work of Latinx artists like Gloria Anzaldua, Walter Mercado, and Blank through a long twentieth century of exchanges between Latin American and US Latinx/Chicanx spiritual belief systems, such as the long-held supposed relationship between the cosmologies of Aztecs and Maya and those of South East Indian and Tibetan spiritualities.

Recent Talk:
“Walter Mercado, Sexuality, and ‘Oriental’ Mysticism in Latin America.” Latin American Studies Association (LASA).

Recent Publications:

“’The Spirits Talk to Us’: Regionalism, Poverty, and Romance in Mexican-American Gothic Fiction.” Studies in the Novel. 49.3 (Fall 2017): 322-340.

“Teaching Matters of Class and Style with Chica Lit.” Latina/o Literature in the Classroom: 21st Century Approaches to Teaching. Ed. Frederick Aldama. New York, NY: Routledge University Press. 2015. 202-217.

“History is What Hurts: Queer Temporalities and Alien Feelings in Gloria Anzaldúa.” Cultural History. Special Issue. Ed. Gregory Smithers. 4.1 (2015): 64-86.

Professor Hedrick’s CV


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Associate Professor

Leah Rosenberg

She received her PhD in Comparative Literature from Cornell University in 2000 and teaches Caribbean and Postcolonial studies. Her current book project: Tourist Empires, Migrating Nations narrates the intersecting histories of tourism from the global north to the Caribbean and of large-scale migration from the Caribbean to Latin America and the global north. It argues that both large-scale movements developed in concert and shaped modern Caribbean literature from the 1890s to the present. In 2017, she presented work from this project at the American Comparative Literature Association, the Caribbean Studies Association Conference, and the West Indian Literature conference. Her previous research focuses on literary historiography. Her book, Nationalism and the Formation of Caribbean Literature (Palgrave 2007) tells the story of how intellectuals in the English-speaking Caribbean first created a distinctly Caribbean and national literature in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. With J. Dillon Brown, she co-edited Beyond Windrush: Rethinking Postwar West Indian Literature (U Mississippi Press, 2015), an essay collection that significantly expands our understanding of West Indian literature of the 1950s by examining a broad spectrum of overlooked writers, genres, and topics. “Refashioning Caribbean Literary Pedagogy in the Digital Age,” (Caribbean Quarterly 62:3-4 (2017), pp. 422-444) describes her work in digital humanities and pedagogy.

She serves as co-chair of the advisory board of the Digital Library of the Caribbean, an open-access, international partnership dedicated to preserving and making accessible Caribbean library and archival materials. Since 2008, she has worked to expand its holdings in Anglophone Caribbean literature and history with the goal of building the library’s capacity as a commons for collaborative research and teaching. She reviews articles and publishes in the Jamaica Journal, Caribbean Quarterly, and Small Axe. She also serves on the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Humanities PhD taskforce to expand professional training and placement for graduate students in the humanities. Her courses include, “Research and Writing in English and the Humanities,” critical surveys of Caribbean literature, and courses in Caribbean studies and digital humanities, designed and taught in collaboration with classes at the University of the West Indies (Barbados), Amherst College, and the University of Miami.

Professor Rosenberg’s CV