Preston Waltrip

Research Areas:

21st century historical fiction, U.S. Latina/o studies, hemispheric American studies, biopolitical theory.

Research Interests:

My current project is a study of contemporary historical fictions, focusing especially on 21st century fictional representations of events that took place in the 19th century U.S.-Mexico borderlands by writers such as Carmen Boullosa, Emma Pérez, Hernan Diaz, Luís Alberto Urrea, and Isabel Allende. Although my project is very invested in contemporary fiction, it is also oriented toward 19th century history, particularly with regard to the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, 19th century literary production in the Americas, 19th century race discourses and racialization, Manifest Destiny, and U.S. imperialism. I’m specifically interested in the way contemporary historical fictions attempt to “unsettle” the past, read and respond to archival texts from the vantage of what might have been, and, in some cases, function as speculative or counterfactual histories in their own right.