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Selected Publications

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Gender Abolition as Border Crossings in Maya Piña's "Devenir transmigrante en la Windy City"

2024, Hispanófila

This article aims to consider how “Devenir transmigrante en la Windy City,” Maya Piña’s contribution to Palabras migrantes:10 ensayistas mexican@s de Chicago (2018), dialogues with research that addresses systemic forms of oppression at three definitional nexuses: the first, what I call gendered immigration; second, linguistic oppression; and finally, the rhetoric of the American Dream. To consider these junctures, I present three movements: in the first, entitled “The Abandonment of Subjecthood,” I interweave considerations from a range of interdisciplinary scholars within trans theory, gender studies, and elsewhere to dialogue with Piña’s litero-ethnographic work. While Piña’s essay does not represent institutionalized or formal scholarly inquiry, let us be reminded by Navejas’s introduction that race, gender, and class are too often mobilized to hierarchize forms of knowledge legitimated by the hegemon. My methodology is therefore informed by the assumption that intellectuality takes many forms as I place Piña’s essay in conversation with scholarly insights on migration, transness, and the abolition of gender and borders. In the second movement, “A Dialogue on the Interconnectedness of Borders and Gender,” I consider current trends in border and gender abolition that build upon gestures related to Piña’s essay. Finally, in the third movement, “Language Radicality and the American Dream [sic]” I take up a second passage of Piña’s essay that explores the evitable forms of capture and carcerality within liberal subjecthood, and how Piña manages this through resisting prescriptive orientations toward the Spanish language.

El monte y otros demonios: ¿En busca de género o En busca de María Uicab?

2024, T’áalk’u’ Iknalítico: Omniausencias, Omnipresencias y Ubicuidades Mayas (Juan Castillo Cocom, coordinador)

Este capítulo ofrece algunas reflexiones sobre de la novela bilingüe de Georgina Rosado y Carlos Chablé, En busca de María Uicab: Reina y Santa Patrona de los mayas rebeldes / Ich u k’aaxantil María Uicab (2021), reflexiones guiadas por la meta de proponer una exploración de género en la memoria de la (mal) llamada Guerra de Castas, el levantamiento más largo y exitoso de este hemisferio. Este capítulo ofrece una definición del género como una estructura colonizante y demuestra la importancia del abandono del binario de género —es decir, la articulación de hombre y mujer, o lo que se ha llamado posiciones de cisgénero— en el imaginario de mundos decoloniales. De ahí, considero el impacto que el género estructural tiene en la memoria de la Guerra de Castas a través de la yuxtaposición del trabajo antropológico sobre Uicab y novela de Rosado y Chablé. Le ts’íiba’ ku k’ubik wa jayp’eel taamkach tuukulo’ob yo’osal u popolts’íibil Georgina Rosado yéetel Carlos Chablé, En busca de María Uicab: Reina y Santa Patrona de los mayas rebeldes / Ich u k’aaxantil María Uicab (2021), tuukulo’ob belbesa’an uti’al u xaak’alxokta’al ti’ xch’uup yéetel xiib ichil u k’a’ajbesajil le ma’ enaj u k’aba’ta’al u “Ba’atelil le Ch’i’ibalo’obo’”, u li’ik’ilba’atelil mas xanchajij ichil u náajatbilil way te tu jaatsillu’um yóok’ol kaabe’. Le múuch’ ts’íiba’, ku jets’ik género bey jump’éel tsoolilba’il u ti’al táanxel tu’ux -u k’áat u ya’ale’, le u p’a’at-tukulta’al máako’ob chéen je’ebix ch’uupo’ob wa chéen je’exbix xiibo’ob (cisgénero)- tu tuukulo’ob múuch’ kaajo’ob táanxelilo’ob. Te’elo’, kin máansik tukultbil bix u tak’bentubaj genero estructural ichil u k’a’ajbesajil u Ba’atelil le Ch’i’ibalo’obo’ tu’ux ku nupbesikubáaj u xaak’alxokta’al yóok’lal Uicab yéetel u u popolts’íibil Rosado yéetel Chable’.

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U je'etsel le ki'ki' kuxtal: A Hemispheric Meditation on Abolition and Autonomy

2023, South Atlantic Quarterly

This article imagines abolitionist politics in the Yucatán peninsula as one group, known as U jeets'el le ki'ki’ kuxtal, pushes against one portion of Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador's development plan known as the “Tren Maya.” I contend that U je'etsel's calls for autonomy speak to forms of radical abolitionist politics present in the United States, where we might observe the centrality of land in both abolition and decolonization. To this end, I first provide a definition of a trans feminist abolition radically focused on the otherwise, or the eradication of all forms of social oppression. This definition is followed by close readings of U je'etsel's communiqués regarding AMLO's 2021 visit to the Yucatán peninsula and the continued role the so-called “Caste War” plays in attempts to expand nationalized colonization into the region. My final goal is to proffer that “Caste War” constitutes a historicized form of radical autonomy as well as project of abolition subject to forces that seek to vacate it of its liberatory power. I demonstrate that part of U je'etsel's discursive project is to reclaim the “Caste War” narrative as part of an emancipatory project involving a radical reclaiming of autonomy's regional history.

Yucatán's Pirate Novels and the Discursive Mayan Rebel in the Nineteenth-Century Criollo Imaginary

2019, Revista de Estudios Hispánicos

During Yucatán’s Caste War, described in the nineteenth century as the Mayan rebel uprising against criollo (European-identified) hegemony, more than half the Yucatán Peninsula’s population either perished or fled, fearing for their lives. As one of the most violent indigenous uprisings in the Americas, it was also one of the longest: the Caste Wars tormented the Mexican Southeast for over 50 years. While historical scholarship has examined the Caste War at length, the study of the peninsula’s literary production has yet to be considered for the contribution it makes to fully understanding the sociohistorical context of the war. In this article, I examine the pirate novels of two of Yucatán’s most prolific nineteenth-century letrados—Eligio Ancona and Justo Sierra O’Reilly—as they delve into the anxieties that the Caste War provoked in the elite population. Through analysis of the well-established genre of the pirate novel, I demonstrate the way literature served as a space to test new configurations of racial discourses that emerged from the criollo construction of a race war. When paired with historical monographs by the same authors, it becomes evident that the pirate took on new meaning in the context of the Caste War, allowing criollo intellectuals to substitute their increasingly threatened mastery of the land (under attack by rural uprisings) for an imagined mastery of the sea.

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