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Emi Frerichs | Of Travestis and Monsters: Reimagining the Power of Literary Monstrosities in Camila Sosa Villada's Las Malas

Event Type
Gender and Women's Studies
1205 W. Nevada St.
Mar 6, 2024   4:00 pm  
Originating Calendar
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS)

“Of Travestis and Monsters: Reimagining the Power of Literary Monstrosities in Camila Sosa Villada’s Las malas” 


In this talk, Emi Frerichs demonstrates how the literary provides a unique framework to critically reinvest in the socio-historical significance of travesti identity in the Southern Cone. Looking at 21st-century travesti authorship and representation, Frerichs argues these narrative works propose a novel system of literary and aesthetic modes that speak to the term’s geopolitical value. Discerned through semi-autobiographical textualities such as Camila Sosa Villada’s Las malas (2019), this talk will specifically focus on how the Argentinean author instrumentalizes tenets of the speculative fiction genre to inscribe an imaginative vision and reclamation of the monstrous settler colonial lens through intertwined portrayals of travesti identity, Indigenous systems of knowledge, disability, and modes of kinship that perpetually question what is defined as real. In deciphering these modes of categorical dissidence, Frerichs will ultimately propose that this taxonomical resistance in Sosa Villada’s text enacts a reframing of what is socially understood as evil, immoral, or frightening to reclaim the monstrous, thereby generating a politics of refusal of trans*lation. 

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