Fall 2021 Dresher Center Faculty Research Fellows
Associate Professor, American Studies
Project: “Race, Readers, and Representation in Contemporary U.S. Multiethnic Literatures”
In “Race, Readers, and Representation in Contemporary U.S. Multiethnic Literatures,”Tamara Bhalla will remediate a longstanding gap in knowledge on how readers and readerships shape the reception, consumption, and interpretation of popular, contemporary U.S. multiethnic literary fiction among various literary publics. This book project will look at several overlapping settings in which U.S. multiethnic literature is read publicly or communally—celebrity book clubs, literary academia, book reviews, and social media—to examine the racial and representational politics of this body of literature. In addition to developing the book, Bhalla’s more specific goal during the fellowship is to draft an essay (that will be the basis of a future book chapter) on how celebrity book clubs and tastemakers use ancillary materials, such as discussion questions, social media posts, and author interviews, to encourage readers to use their encounter with the racial others of U.S. multiethnic literatures as a process of performative empathy and self-improvement.
Dr. Thania Muñoz D.
Assistant Professor, Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication
Project: “A Canon without Immigrants: Latin American Writers in the United States and the Twenty-First Century”
In “A Canon without Immigrants: Latin American Writers in the United States and the Twenty-First Century,” Thania Muñoz D. explores contemporary Spanish language literary production and Latin American immigration to the U.S. This book project will provide a novel analysis of how Latin American literary history omits mention of immigration in relation to contemporary Latinx narratives in the United States. At the same time, because trajectories of economic immigration, political exile, and persecution are elided in the formation of national discourses, histories, and literatures, narratives by the diaspora in the U.S have not been considered “Latin American” by those in Latin America. So far, what has counted in Latin America as “national literatures” in terms of migration are texts on the topic of “return” to the homeland. Muñoz D. argues that a generation of writers in the 21st Century responds to this canon: returning is not always an option or a desired choice.
For a list of previous Residential Faculty Research Fellows, please visit the Archives page.