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Translocas: The Politics of Puerto Rican Drag & Trans Performance

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

The Hemispheric Institute is thrilled to co-sponsor and co-produce "Translocas: The Politics of Puerto Rican Drag & Trans Performance," a book talk and conversation with Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes & Arnaldo Cruz-Malavé, with drag performances by Vena Cava and Warhola Pop.

Translocas focuses on drag and transgender performance and activism in Puerto Rico and its diaspora. Arguing for the political potential of these cultural formations, 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.

This event is organized by the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality (CSGS) at NYU, and co-sponsored by the Hemispheric Institute, the Latinx Project, the NYU Center for the Humanities, and the Department of Performance Studies.

Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes

Lawrence La Fountain-Stokesis 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 a Romance Languages and Literatures and Women’s and Gender Studies professor. Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, he received his AB from Harvard (1991) and his MA, MPhil, and Ph.D. 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). Lawrence is coeditor of Keywords for Latina/o Studies (New York University Press, 2017) along with Deborah R. Vargas and Nancy Raquel Miraba. 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 has performed in drag as Lola von Miramar since 2010 and has appeared in several episodes of the YouTube series Cooking with Drag Queens.                                                   

Arnaldo M. Cruz-Malavé

Arnaldo M. Cruz-Malavé is professor of Spanish, comparative literature and Latin American and Latinx Studies at Fordham University. He is the author of Queer Latino Testimonio, Keith Haring, and Juanito Xtravaganza: Hard Tails, a book about the relationship between art and Latinx popular culture in the gentrifying New York of the 1980s; El primitivo implorante, a study of the intersections of nationalism and queer sexuality in the prose fiction of the Cuban author José Lezama Lima; editor of the anthology of short stories, Cuentos (casi) completos de Manuel Ramos Otero, the Puerto Rican queer diasporic author; and co-editor, with Martin Manalansan, of Queer Globalization: Citizenship and the Afterlife of Colonialism. He has been the recipient of the NEH and the Ford Foundation fellowships, a visiting professor at Harvard, and a former member of the Board of Directors of Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies of CUNY’s Graduate Center and Fordham University Press.

Vena Cava

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 Río 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

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 stage. Warhola Pop was created from a mix of her Latinx roots, straddling the binary gender divide, glamor, and makeup.

Hemispheric Institute
20 Cooper Square, fifth floor
New York, NY 10003

Event Access

Registration not required for in-person attendance. In-person attendance is limited to current NYU students, staff, and faculty who are compliant with NYU’s COVID-19 vaccination policy. As per current NYU policy, masks can no longer be required, but we strongly encourage them for community care.

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