Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes

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Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes

Associate Professor of Spanish
Director, Latina/o Studies Program

Surface Mail: 505 S. State Street | 3722 Haven Hall
Ann Arbor MI 48109-1045

Office Location(s): 4408 MLB 1275
Office Hours: By appointment on Tuesdays 2:00PM-5:00PM
Phone: 734.763.0510
Fax: 734.936.1967
View Curriculum Vitae

  • Affiliation(s)
    • Faculty: Department of American Culture (AC), Latina/o Studies (LS)
    • Faculty: Department of Romance Languages & Literatures, Spanish
    • Faculty Affiliate: Department of Women's Studies
  • Fields of Study
    • Latina/o studies, Puerto Rican and Hispanic Caribbean studies, women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, lesbian, gay, and queer studies, theater and performance.
  • About

    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 (, on the Modern Language Association's Committee on the Literatures of People of Color of the United States and Canada (, 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 (, 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: 

    Caribbean Cinema
    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

  • Education
    • Ph.D., Columbia University, 1999.
  • Awards
    • Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation 2006 Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty.
    • Ford Foundation 2006 Postdoctoral Diversity Fellowship (declined).
    • Michigan Campus Compact 2006 Faculty/Staff Community Service-Learning Award.
  • Research Areas of Interest
    • Latin American, Caribbean and US Latino/Latina Literature and Culture
    • Theater and Performance Studies
    • Queer, Lesbian and Gay Studies
    • Women’s and Gender Studies
  • Selected Publications:
  • Books