Assistant Professor - Spanish; Spanish Section Head and Advisor
Francesca Dennstedt received her Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies from Washington University in St. Louis, where she also completed a certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her main areas of research are twentieth-century and contemporary Mexican literature and culture with a focus on gender and queer theory. Her work engages with questions of queer temporality, canon formation, and the nation through critical readings of Mexican women’s cultural production.
She is currently working on her bookmanuscript where she analyzes women’s cuir cultural production in Mexico from the 1930s to the present and relates this production to canon formation and feelings as cultural criticism. The book shows how cuiridad—a geopolitical epistemic concept that indicates the Mexicanization of a theoretical-political proposal that was born in another space and time but that has been displaced and localized to Mexico—becomes a site to rethink canon building through instances of restorative criticisms. These restorative criticisms provide alternative cultural histories of cuiridad and intervene in the material damage effected by heteropatriarchal formations, such as the erasure of cuir female voices from mainstream cultural histories.
She has published several book chapters such as “Una feminazi, una teibolera y una lesbiana: acercamientos al feminismo en la literatura mexicana actual” in the edited volume Romper con la palabra by Adriana Pacheco Roldán. She has also published articles about queerness in Mexico such as “‘Between Utopian Longings and Everyday Failures’: Imagining a Latin American Cuir Future” in the Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies and “Disoluciones utópicas y la lucha cuir: exploraciones porno-duras a los discursos (homo)nacionales” in Revista de Literatura Mexicana Contemporánea. She is also a collaborator of Hablemos Escritoras Podcast, one of the most important repositories on the work of women writers in Spanish today.