Criticism & Interpretive Theory Junior Research Fellows, 2016-18

Eric Darnell Pritchard (English)

"Making Ourselves from Scratch": Literacy and Social Change through Black Queer Activist Organizations
Making Ourselves from Scratch: Literacy and Social Change through Black Queer Activist Organizations, 1974-1989 employs women of color feminisms and queer of color critique, along with literacy and composition theory, to explode historiographies of 1970s and 1980s grassroots activism which have tended to overlook the rhetorical labor of numerous LGBT of color activist organizations who created unique forms of intervention steeped in LGBT of color history, culture, and experiences. Traversing methodologies of archival research, in-depth interviews, and close readings of cultural productions (literature, film, photography, theater), my project creates a theory of black queer rhetorical activism through attention to the role of everyday reading and writing practices in the lives of Black queer activist organizations working for socio-political change, ranging from the day-to-day administrative responsibilities of organizing, to the forms of cultural productions through which these activists made their interventions and articulated their visions.


Sandra Ruiz (Latina/o Studies and English)

Ricanness: Staging Time in Anticolonial Performance
Ricanness examines how acts of bodily endurance performed by both Puerto Rican artists and revolutionaries serve as aesthetic and political interventions under colonial temporality. To consider what it means, feels, senses to be Rican in the world, this manuscript engages with Rican performance/video art and historical events of insurrection as performance sites that subvert and resist the grips of colonialism through temporal strategies such as duration, exhaustion, dying, waiting, and pausing. By placing in conversation Continental philosophy, anticolonial theory, Latinx performance studies, and queer theory, this book argues that the spatial politics that define Ricanness and US/PR relations must be revisited through the colonization of time. In doing so, this project contends that each artist and revolutionary creates their own bearable and temporally fashioned island through alternate narratives of perseverance, belonging, being, life, and death.