My main research interests are queer/LGBT Hispanic Caribbean (Cuban, Dominican, Puerto Rican) studies, U.S. Latina/o, and Latin American literary, cultural, and performance studies. In my first book, Queer Ricans: Cultures and Sexualities in the Diaspora (University of Minnesota Press, 2009), I analyze portrayals of migration, sexual diversity, and gender nonconformity in Puerto Rican cultural productions (such as cartoons, dance theater, film, literature, and performance art) both on the island and in the United States, focusing on the lives and work of artists such as Luis Rafael Sánchez, Manuel Ramos Otero, Luz María Umpierre, Frances Negrón-Muntaner, Rose Troche, Erika López, Arthur Avilés, and Elizabeth Marrero. In my new book project, Translocas and Transmachas: Trans Diasporic Puerto Rican Drag, I focus on migration, transvestism, and performance and argue that drag can serve not only to question gender and sexuality but also to explore commodification, cyberspace, diasporic displacements and reenactments of home, ethnicity, the human/animal divide, monstrosity, politics, poverty, race, and racial passing. Here I discuss the lives and work of artists and activists such as Eduardo Alegría, Javier Cardona, Lady Catiria, Fausto Fernós, Erika López, Elizabeth Marrero, Freddie Mercado, Jorge Merced, Mario Móntez, Sylvia Rivera, and Holly Woodlawn, as well as the recent phenomenon of Puerto Rican participation in RuPaul’s Drag Race.
I have served on the board of directors of the CUNY Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (www.clags.org), on the Modern Language Association's Committee on the Literatures of People of Color of the United States and Canada (www.mla.org), and on the Executive Committee of the MLA's Puerto Rican Literature and Culture Discussion Group (2001-05). I was the chair of the Lesbian and Gay Studies Section (now known as the Sexualities Studies Section) of the Latin American Studies Association (2003-04). I am also a member of the Puerto Rican Studies Association (http://www.puertoricanstudies.org/), the American Studies Association, and the Caribbean Studies Association.
TEDxSanJuan - Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes - Sexual Migration and Culture (You Tube link)
Recent and Selected Publications
“Translocas: Migration, Homosexuality, and Transvestism in Recent Puerto Rican Performance.” e-misférica 8.1 (2011). Electronic journal.
(Spanish version) “Translocas: Migración, homosexualidad y transvestismo en el performance puertorriqueño reciente.” Trans. by Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes. e-misférica 8.1 (2011). Electronic journal.
(Portuguese version) “Translocas: migração, homossexualidade e transformismo na recente performance porto-riquenha.” Trans. by Pablo Assumpção Barros Costa. e-misférica 8.1 (2011). Electronic journal.
“Gay Shame, Latina/o Style: A Critique of White Queer Performativity.” Michael Hames-García and Ernesto J. Martínez, eds. Gay Latino Studies: A Critical Reader. Durham: Duke University Press, 2011. 55-80.
Uñas pintadas de azul/Blue Fingernails. Bilingual collection of short stories (Spanish and English). Tempe, AZ: Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, 2009.
Recent graduate courses taught:
Gender and Sexuality in Latin America and the Caribbean
Latina/o Cultural Studies
Seminar in Queer of Color Theory
Trans Latina/o American Drag
Recent undergraduate courses taught:
Introduction to the Study of Latinas in the U.S.
Literatures and Cultures of the Borderlands: The Politics of Language
Queer Culture of the Hispanic Caribbean and Its Diaspora