Translocas: The Politics of Puerto Rican Drag & Trans Performance

October 6 2022 | 6:00-8:00PM EST

Translocas focuses on drag and transgender performance and activism in Puerto Rico and its diaspora. Arguing for its political potential, Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes explores the social and cultural disruptions caused by Latin American and Latinx “locas” (effeminate men, drag queens, transgender performers, and unruly women) and the various forms of violence to which queer individuals in Puerto Rico and the U.S. are subjected.

Co-sponsored by the NYU Center for the Humanities, Department of Performance Studies, Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics, and by the Latinx Project at NYU.

Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes is Professor and Chair of the Department of American Culture and former director and core faculty member of the Latina/o Studies Program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is also Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of Women’s and Gender Studies. Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, he received his AB from Harvard (1991) and his MA, MPhil, and PhD from Columbia (1999). He is author of Queer Ricans: Cultures and Sexualities in the Diaspora (University of Minnesota Press, 2009) and of Escenas transcaribeñas: Ensayos sobre teatro, performance y cultura (Isla Negra Editores, 2018) and coeditor with Deborah R. Vargas and Nancy Raquel Mirabal of Keywords for Latina/o Studies (New York University Press, 2017). His book Translocas: The Politics of Puerto Rican Drag and Trans Performance was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2021 as part of the Triangulations: Lesbian/Gay/Queer Theater/Drama/Performance series and received the 2021-2022 Sylvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies from CLAGS, the Center for LGBTQ Studies at the City University of New York. He has coedited queer issues of CENTRO Journal, Sargasso, and Hostos Review/Revista Hostosiana and has published two books of fiction, Uñas pintadas de azul/Blue Fingernails and Abolición del pato. Larry performs in drag as Lola von Miramar since 2010, and has appeared in several episodes of the YouTube series Cooking with Drag Queens.

Arnaldo Cruz-Malavé is Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature and Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Fordham University in New York. His research focuses on contemporary Hispanic Caribbean transitions, queer diasporas, New York in Latino literature and film, urban Latino culture, sexuality studies, and the writings of José Lezama Lima. He is author of Queer Latino Testimonio, Keith Haring, and Juanito Xtravaganza: Hard Tails (Palgrave 2007), a book on the relationship between high art and Latino popular culture in the gentrifying New York of the 1980s, and of El primitivo implorante (Rodopi 1994), a study of the intersections of nationalism and sexuality in the prose fiction of the Cuban neobaroque author, José Lezama Lima. He is coeditor of Queer Globalization: Citizenship and the Afterlife of Colonialism (New York UP 2002).

Born and raised in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, Vena Cava is a drag performer and event producer currently based in Brooklyn, NY. She initiated her Drag career in Rio Piedras where she was one of the first wave of performers to emerge from a currently thriving alternative queer scene. In Brooklyn, she is known as the Puerto Rican It Girl who produces Latine and Caribbean centric events. In her five years as an active drag queen, she has collaborated with brands and been featured in publications including: Paper Magazine, Refinery 29, Happy Socks, Scruff, Out Magazine, Gayletter, Yelp, Public Hotels and Standard Hotels.

Warhola Pop was born and raised on the tropical island of Puerto Rico and has resided in Brooklyn NY for the last six years. She describes herself as a campy artist who uses her body like a canvas. Her name signals her passion for visual and performance art and encompasses her limitlessness when she is on the stage. Warhola Pop was created from a mix of her Latinx roots, straddling the binary gender divide, glamour, and makeup.

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