In this talk, noted scholar Juana Maria Rodriguez will explore how documenting the lives of elderly sex workers in Mexico City can affect how others subjectively interpret their life stories, and how combining visual documentation with biographical narratives can alter the interpretative process, serving as complicated triggers for the viewer/reader’s own emotional and sexual identifications.
Her lecture, “The Women of Casa Xochiquetzal: Corporeal Encounters, Queer Feelings,” is based on a larger research project in which she considers the problems with representing racially gendered violence, pleasure, and trauma in visual culture.
Rodriguez is a professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and of Performance Studies at the University of California-Berkeley. Her research interests cover a wide range of subjects, from sexuality studies and queer theory, and from Latin/o American and Caribbean literature and culture to critical race studies, as well as technology and media arts. Her most recent book, Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures, and Other Latina Longings, published in 2014, was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Foundation LGBT Studies Award. According to the Project Muse website from Johns Hopkins University, her 2003 book, Queer Latinidad: Identity Practices, Discursive Spaces, offers a dynamic and innovative approach to the study of identity formation and representation, documenting the ways in which identities are transformed by language, law, culture, and public policy.
Rodriguez received her bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University, her master’s degree in English and comparative literature from Columbia University, and her PhD in ethnic studies from UC-Berkeley.
A 2016 Washington University Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Rodriguez’s lecture is supported in part by the Office of the Provost, and will be the first to be sponsored by Women, Sexuality and Gender Studies operating as a full department in Arts & Sciences.