Kevin Escudero (On Leave 22-23) is an Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnic Studies at Brown University and serves as the Managing Editor for Latinx Talk. The son of a Bolivian immigrant father and Vietnamese refugee mother, he received his Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from U.C. Berkeley and M.S.L. from Yale Law School. Dr. Escudero’s research and teaching interests explore the areas of comparative racial and ethnic studies, immigration, social movements, and the law. His book, Organizing While Undocumented (NYU Press, 2020) examines instances of racial and ethnic coalition building in the immigrant rights movement. His current book project focuses on immigrant and indigenous community members’ participation in Guam’s decolonization movement. His work has received funding from the National Science Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, American Sociological Association, and U.C. Berkeley Center for the Study of Law and Society.
Isabel Espinal (Interim Editor) is the librarian for Afro American Studies, Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies, Spanish & Portuguese, Native American & Indigenous Studies, and Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at University of Massachusetts Amherst. She was born in New York City, two years after her parents immigrated from the Cibao countryside in the Dominican Republic. She has an AB in Romance Languages and Literature from Princeton University, a Masters in Library and Information Studies from UC Berkeley, and an MA and PhD in American Studies, English department, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She employed Anzaldúan strategies in her dissertation, Kiskeyanas Valientes en Este Espacio: Dominican Women Writers and the Spaces of Contemporary American Literature, and she is looking to get it published as a book. She is a past president of REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, and has written and given presentations on Dominican women writers in the United States, whiteness and diversity in librarianship, information literacy, the climate crisis and libraries, and Latinx literature, among other topics.
Perla Guerrero is Associate Professor of American Studies and U.S. Latina/o Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research and teaching interests include relational race and ethnicity with a focus on Latinxs and Asian Americans, space and place, immigration, legality, and deportation, labor, U.S. history, and the U.S. South. She has received multiple awards including a Ford Postdoctoral Fellowship and two from the Smithsonian Institution to be a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Museum of American History (NMAH).
Her first book, Nuevo South: Latinas/os, Asians, and the Remaking of Place, examines how racial cleansing and sundown towns made northwest Arkansas into a particular kind of place and analyzes the political and economic factors that are shifting social conditions and racial mores in the U.S. South. Nuevo South posits that to fully understand the racialization of Asians and Latinas/os we must also understand the history of place-specific ideologies that are at the center of more recent instantiations of racialized relationships. She’s currently working on her second book, Deportation’s Aftermath: Displacement and Making a Life in Exile, that explores what happens to different kinds of people after repatriation—those deported by the nation-state, those who are forced to return (meaning state and federal policies made life so difficult they were coerced into leaving), and those who chose to return to their birth country. Taking Mexico City and the state of Puebla as research sites, the book seeks to understand how U.S.-based inequality, criminalization, and stigma are reproduced in Mexico after repatriation.
Ester E. Hernández earned her Ph.D. in Social Science at UC Irvine and joined CSULA’s Department of Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies in 2002. She has published on Salvadoran migration and remittances in social science journals such as the Journal of American Ethnic History and Economy & Society. She received a CSULA Rockefeller Humanities Fellowship in 2003-2004 on the theme of “Families and Belonging in the Multi-ethnic Metropolis.” Born in El Salvador, she is on the board of directors of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) and is the co-editor of the anthology U.S. Central Americans: Reconstructing Memories, Struggles and Communities of Resistance (University of Arizona Press) about 1.5 and second generation Centroamericanas/os and U.S. Central Americans. Her current research is linked to immigrant rights, economic development and cultures of memory.
Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes is Professor of American Culture, Romance Languages and Literatures, and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and the former director of the Latina/o Studies Program (2011-2016). He received his A.B. from Harvard (1991) and M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia (1999). He is author of Queer Ricans: Cultures and Sexualities in the Diaspora (2009), Uñas pintadas de azul/Blue Fingernails (2009), Abolición del pato (2013), and A Brief and Transformative Account of Queer History (2016). He co-edited an issue of CENTRO Journal on Puerto Rican Queer Sexualities (Spring 2007) and is currently writing on Puerto Rican transgender and drag performance and activism. He performs as Lola von Miramar since 2010.
Xochitl Marsilli-Vargas is a cultural and linguistic anthropologist working primarily in Latin America and the Latinx diaspora in the United States. Attuned to ethnographic specificity and historical context, her research focuses on psychoanalysis, translation practices, the constitution and the circulation of mental health discourses, linguistic analysis, and the politics and practice of listening. These areas on inquiry have shaped the two major research projects that she has pursued so far. The first of these projects is a book manuscript entitled Genres of Listening: An Ethnography of Psychoanalysis in Buenos Aires, where she argues that just as there are many ways of speaking, there are many possible ways of listening. While there have been many studies that identify how linguistic practices create and transform contexts, the idea that listening has the potential of generating and sustaining social relations has not been similarly explored.
Her second project is based on ethnographic research conducted between United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers and Spanish-speaking asylum seekers—unaccompanied minors that have entered the United States mostly from Central America. It explores various communicative events during the asylum interview, such as the presence of a virtual translator responsible for monitoring the semantic accuracy of the Spanish translation into English, the use of cellphones when minors need to corroborate information, the network used by the USCIS officer to write down the asylum seeker’s testimony, and her role as a translator. The main inquiry is to understand contemporary digital environments, to investigate communicative practices that use different languages and linguistic codes while simultaneously being connected with a range of media technologies. It also explores the epistemological implications of being a minor inside a highly structured institutional setting and being “spoken for” by different social actors. This research also helps to continue to expand the concept of genres of listening since, as told by a USCIS officer, inside immigration agencies, officers learn to “listen to lies” thus producing a particular framework of listening based on conceptualizations of what a “truthful” statement is inside this institutional setting.
The two projects follow, in different forms and through diverse concepts, actors and contexts, the main questions that constitute the core of my anthropological inquiry: the semiotic understanding of how language and listening shape communication, form social identities and group membership, organize large-scale beliefs and ideologies, and cultivate cultural representations of the social world.
Cecilia Márquez is an Assistant Professor in History at Duke University. Her research is on the history of Latinx racial formations. Her manuscript-in-progress, The Strange Career of Juan Crow: Latino/a Racial Formations and the U.S. South, 1940-2010, traces the history of Latinxs during the demise of Jim Crow segregation. Her work helps historicize contemporary Latino/a migration to the U.S. South and emphasizes the importance of region in shaping Latinx identity. Her second book project is a history of Latinxs and far-right politics. Her work has received funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and American Council of Learned Societies.
Dr. Omaris Z. Zamora is a transnational Black Dominican Studies scholar. Her research interests include: Black and Latino Studies, transnational Hispanic Caribbean cultural production as they relate to race, gender, and sexuality. Her current book project engages the theoretical formation of AfroLatina feminist epistemologies through an analysis of transnational Dominican women’s narratives in literature and performance. Zamora has presented her research at many conferences, lectures, and roundtables. Her work has been published in Latinx Talk and Label Me Latina/o, among others and she has been featured on NPR’s Alt.Latino podcast episode “Reggaeton in the Age of #MeToo”. Omaris is a spoken-word poet, she fuses her poetry with her scholarly work as a way of contributing to a new black poetic approach to scholarship and literary criticism.
Theresa Delgadillo (Interim Editor) is a Professor of English and Chican@ and Latin@ Studies at UW Madison. The daughter of Mexican parents who immigrated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she earned her Ph.D. at UCLA. In 2011 she founded Mujeres Talk (our predecessor site) and in 2017 co-founded Latinx Talk. She has enjoyed collaborating with colleagues from across the country to build this important online venue for the field of Latinx studies. Her published research includes Latina Lives in Milwaukee (University of Illinois Press 2015), Spiritual Mestizaje: Religion, Gender, Race, and Nation in Contemporary Chicana Narrative (Duke University Press 2011), and the co-edited volume Building Sustainable Worlds: Latinx Placemaking in the Midwest (University of Illinois Press, 2022), as well as numerous journal articles and chapters in volumes.
Past Members of the Editorial Board
Felipe Hinojosa, Texas A&M University, May 2017 – August 2022
Lauren Araiza, Denison University, January 2016 [Mujeres Talk] – May 2019
Magdalena Barrera, San José State University, May 2017 – May 2019
Miroslava Chávez-García, University of California, Santa Barbara, May 2018 – December 2021
Carlos U. Decena, Rutgers University, May 2017 – December 2017
Roberto C. Delgadillo, UC-Davis, May 2019 – December 2022
Adriana Estill, Carleton College, May 2017 – May 2020
Miguel Juárez, University of Texas at El Paso, May 2017 – May 2020
Carmen R. Lugo-Lugo, Washington State University, May 2014 [Mujeres Talk] – May 2018
Yalidy Matos, Rutgers University, May 2017 – May 2019