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Queer Ricans

Cultures and Sexualities in the Diaspora

2009
Author:

Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes

Queer Ricans

Seeing the diversity in Puerto Rico’s gay and lesbian communities in the United States

Exploring cultural expressions of Puerto Rican queer migration from the Caribbean to New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco, Lawrence La Fountain–Stokes analyzes how artists have portrayed their lives and the discrimination they have faced. Proposing a radical new conceptualization of Puerto Rican migration, he reveals how sexuality has shaped and defined the Puerto Rican experience in the United States.

Full of wonderful insights and innovative scholarship, Queer Ricans announces a new and original voice to the ongoing debates within the fields of queer studies, Latino studies, and cultural studies. Readers will be drawn to learning about the rich history of queer Puerto Rican cultural production and how it has moved over time from repression to public display.

David Román, University of Southern California

Exploring cultural expressions of Puerto Rican queer migration from the Caribbean to New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco, Lawrence La Fountain–Stokes analyzes how artists have portrayed their lives and the discrimination they have faced in both Puerto Rico and the United States.

Highlighting cultural and political resistance within Puerto Rico’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender subcultures, La Fountain–Stokes pays close attention to differences of gender, historical moment, and generation, arguing that Puerto Rican queer identity changes over time and is experienced in very different ways. He traces an arc from 1960s Puerto Rico and the writings of Luis Rafael Sánchez to New York City in the 1970s and 1980s (Manuel Ramos Otero), Philadelphia and New Jersey in the 1980s and 1990s (Luz María Umpierre and Frances Negrón-Muntaner), and Chicago (Rose Troche) and San Francisco (Erika López) in the 1990s, culminating with a discussion of Arthur Avilés and Elizabeth Marrero’s recent dance–theater work in the Bronx.

Proposing a radical new conceptualization of Puerto Rican migration, this work reveals how sexuality has shaped and defined the Puerto Rican experience in the United States.

Queer Ricans

Lawrence La Fountain–Stokes is assistant professor of Latina/o studies, American culture and Romance languages and literatures at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Queer Ricans

Full of wonderful insights and innovative scholarship, Queer Ricans announces a new and original voice to the ongoing debates within the fields of queer studies, Latino studies, and cultural studies. Readers will be drawn to learning about the rich history of queer Puerto Rican cultural production and how it has moved over time from repression to public display.

David Román, University of Southern California

Applause for this groundbreaking cultural breakthrough in queer Latino studies!

Zona Rosa

Lawrence La Fountain-Strokes’s book contributes a welcome ethnic and cultural specificity to scholarly discourse on gender, sexuality, and migratory experience. The author’s notion of a queer Rican community stands as a vibrant space from which to negotiate and reinscribe queer Puerto Rican, Nuyorican, and Diaspo-Rican spaces of community and cultural production.

The Americas

A powerful testament to the depth and diversity of queer Rican cultural production, this study is an important addition to the broader fields of literary and cultural studies, as well as foundational text in the area of queer Latina/o studies.

The Americas

Queer Ricans: Cultures and Sexualities in the Diaspora, is a groundbreaking analysis of the cultural expressions produced by Puerto Rican people who self-identify in queer terms.

Hispania

The ingenuity of this book lies in its organization, which frames the vast layers and complexities of how culture is negotiated under ideologies of colonialism, migration, sexuality, race, and historical context.

Sexualities

This is a first-rate academic study, one that will set the agenda for subsequent scholarship on Puerto Rican culture in the U.S. mainland, queer and otherwise.

Intertexts

Queer Ricans is a lively, richly textured, and accessible study that will be of interest to a range of readers both inside and outside the academy. . . . It not only proves (queer) sexuality to be an important category of analysis in the study of the Puerto Rican diaspora, it places it front and center.

GLQ

Other works that focus on US Puerto Rican experiences have traditionally overlooked, for whatever reason, the importance of the queer contributions to life in this country. La Fountain-Stokes’ study centers on the ways that Puerto Rican cultural producers examine their experiences in the United States as both Puerto Ricans and queers.

Latino(a) Research Review

It is a fresh and critical look at the place of queer studies in the paradigm of Puerto Rican migration.

Gender, Place and Culture

Offers careful, exhaustive, and gripping descriptions.

New West India Guide