My research is concerned with the relationship between the poetics and the politics of both racist and antiracist discourses. My teaching and research areas, in no particular order, include contemporary African American, Afro-Latin American, Chicana/o, Latina/o, Inter-American, and South African literatures; Black radical thought, Critical Race Theory, postcolonial theory, sociology of race and ethnic relations; antiracist, feminist, and indigenous epistemologies. I received the Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, with a Doctoral Emphasis in Global & International Studies, from the University of California, Santa Barbara (2013), and an M.A. in English and Spanish, along with a Secondary Education Teaching degree, from the University of Freiburg, Germany (2006).
I am currently completing a book titled Colorblind Tools: Narrating Racial Power in the Americas and South Africa, which examines the rhetorical contours of colorblindness discourse and its implications for literary imaginaries, antiracist politics, and the production of knowledge. Through the comparative analysis of Panamanian, U.S. American, and South African literature and scholarship, I examine colorblindness as an ideology, a legal doctrine, and a metaphor for the global attempt to render invisible “the colorline,—the relation of the darker races to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea,” which W.E.B. Du Bois in The Souls of Black Folk (1903) defined as the “problem of the twentieth century.” While the colorline persists, colorblindness represents a crucial obstacle to its removal in the twenty-first century. Challenging established theories of racial formation that posit a fundamental shift in racial dynamics and hegemonic discourse since the formal demise of racial dictatorships, Colorblind Tools reveals overlaps and continuities between colonial, overt white supremacist, and colorblindness discourses as well as unforeseen affinities between colonial and decolonial imaginaries. In the process, it shows that colorblindness has far-reaching implications across disciplinary, historical, linguistic, and national boundaries.
- “Reconciling Racial Revelations in Post-Apartheid Literature.” Research in African Literatures (accepted and forthcoming).
- “The Rhetorics of Racial Power: Enforcing Colorblindness in Post-Apartheid Scholarship on Race.” Journal of International and Intercultural Communication 8.1 (Feb. 2015): 7-26. Print.
*Honorable mention, Kimberlé Crenshaw Outstanding Article Award
- “White Supremacy, White Knowledge, and Anti-West Indian Discourse in Panama: Olmedo Alfaro’s El peligro antillano en la América Central.” The Global South 6.2 (Fall 2013): 65-86. Print.
- “Racial Power and Colorblindness: The ‘Sad Black Stories’ of Kgebetli Moele's Room 207 and Twenty-First Century Black South African Fiction.” Journal of
Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies 1.1 (Spring 2013): 33-59. Print.
- “Brazil’s Mestiçagem in the African American Imagination: From the ‘Nadir of the Negro’ to Gayl Jones’s Corregidora.” Tinta: Research Journal of Hispanic and
- Lusophone Studies 10 (Spring/Autumn 2010): 37-46. Web. (Journal no longer active).