Performance, Ethnicity, Intersectionality
There are two texts that I have found myself returning to during the creation of my Senior Thesis work: The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life by Erving Goffman and “Feeling Brown” by José Esteban Muñoz. These texts, in the context of my studies on critical race theory and theater, reinforced my interest in the performativity of affect in relation to ethnicity.
“Feeling Brown,” most strongly, forced me to think about the possibilities that result from accepting a stereotypical Latina/o affect. I began to think of ways in which stereotypes could be switched from reductive to powerful. By exaggerating the excessiveness of Latina/o affect in relation to what Munoz calls “national [U.S.] affect,” there exists the chance to represent previously underrepresented communities and reveal their complexities. This thinking led to my senior work, Ask Mami, a series of videos and performances that bring “Latina” identity into question through a satirization of Cuban-American values.