Professor, Dramatic Arts and American Culture Studies
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My work considers multiple modes of knowledge production and transmission in the study and teaching of borders and borderlands, material religion, and hemispheric Latinx performance. I use my training between Performance Studies and Cultural Anthropology to pinpoint how the production of distinct types of infrastructure—social as well as physical—reveal underlying transnational ties and challenge nation-as-container thinking. As a specialist in the study of religion, I use ritual, be it religious or civil, as an optic to examine Latina/o/x labor as well as the politics of cooperation and exclusion at international boundary lines. My research, primarily ethnographic, also draws on archival materials, and spatial analysis to speak to scholars across Latina/o/x Studies, Latin American Studies, African and African American Studies. My books include Performing Piety: Making Space Sacred with the Virgin of Guadalupe (University of California Press, 2011), ¡Viva George! Celebrating Washington’s Birthday at the U.S.-Mexico Border (University of Texas Press, 2020) as well as two edited books with performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña—Ethno-techno (Routledge 2005) and Gómez-Peña Unplugged (Routledge 2020).