Appointed As

Leslie Center for the Humanities


ACLS Emerging Voices Fellowships program


Dartmouth College

PhD Field of Study

PhD, English, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Dissertation Abstract

"A Bridged Country"

This dissertation consists of a story collection, a novel excerpt, along with a critical introduction. The critical introduction provides a framework for the manner in which my work engages with Puerto Rico, the politics and ideology of independence, family, hyperviolence, rootedness, masculinity, and nation. Specifically, A Bridged Country is a collection offering a representation of contemporary Puerto Rico and at times portrays violence, escapism, and what it means to be a neocolonial subject. The stories offer an uncensored look at misrepresented voices in Puerto Rico today and spans a larger scope of magical realism, realism, and elements of postmodern conventions of storytelling. Two highlighted stories: In “Caníbal the Real Deal,” two brothers must adapt to life with their father dying from cancer and in order to help pay for bills, they get into cockfighting. In “A Bridged Country,” the mayor of Barceloneta dispossesses a housing complex from all their pets and ultimately disposes of them over a highway bridge. What is inherent in these stories is the question of Puerto Rico’s political fate, notions of rootedness, and how citizens live and survive in a colonial state that imposes hegemony over its subjects.