José Alfaro

B.A. in English Literature, San Francisco State University, 2014, Summa Cum Laude

Research Areas:

Borderlands (Cultural, Physical, Spiritual, Sexual) Discourse; Latino/a & Chicano/a Lit; Queer Theory

Research Interests:

I examine the silent voices in literature: particularly those unearthed through Borderland Studies. Using ideas cultivated by writers like Gloria Anzaldúa, I observe representations—the voices—of American identities, both north and south of the U.S. Mexican border. I am interested in research that cultivates the identity politics of the Chicano/a and Latino/a identities. Paying particular attention to “mestizaje” and its ability to complicate what is deemed “American” and “Mexican,” I look at, broadly, how mixing influences the Latino/a identity and consciousness. Furthermore, using models of Queer Theory, I examine how the cultural construction of masculinity in the Americas is inherently tied to border construction and nation building. I suggest that forms of mestizaje serve as deviations from the hegemonic nation built on race just as, perhaps, gender and sexual deviations do for a nation bordered by “hetero-normativity” and “masculinity.” Ultimately, my work re-examines the permeability of the Americas and its margins while addressing the identity politics reflected by its amorphous nature.