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Tace Hedrick


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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