Xiomara Verenice Cervantes-Gómez

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Personal profile

Personal profile

Xiomara Verenice Cervantes-Gómez is Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese in Latin American Literatures and Cultures and affiliated faculty in Women's and Gender Studies, Latina/Latino Studies, Religion, and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory. As a transdisciplinary scholar, she researches and writes in the interstices between Latin American and U.S. Latinx cultural studies, continental philosophy, performance studies, queer theory, and contemporary literature. Cervantes-Gómez received her Ph.D. in Spanish and Latin American Studies in the Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture Doctoral Program at the University of Southern California. She also holds a Masters in Theological Studies (M.T.S.) in Religions of the Americas from Harvard Divinity School and a B.A. from the University of California, Riverside. Cervantes-Gómez currently serves on the editorial board of Women & Language and is co-chair of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Sexualities Section.

Research Interests

20th and 21st-Century Latin American Literature and Culture
Modern Mexican Literary and Visual Cultures
U.S. Latina/o/x Literature and Culture
Queer Theory, Feminist Theory, and Gender and Sexuality Studies
Performance Studies
Critical Race Theory and Postcolonialism
Continental Philosophy and Critical Theory

Professional Information

Cervantes-Gómez's research focuses on issues and contentions of embodiment, sexuality, and performance in contemporary Latin American and U.S. Latinx visual art and literature. She's currently completing a monograph entitled, A Body Exposed: The Aesthetics of Sex, Death, and Mexicanness. This work examines the performance and representations of sex and death, from mid-century nationalist narratives to contemporary queer performance art, as embodied practices that gesture toward ideas of nationalism, state violence, and sexual politics in contemporary Mexican and Latinx cultural production.

In concert with her work on critical race theory, affect, and performance studies, Cervantes-Gómez is also working on a second book project that examines aesthetics, performance, sexuality, and Blackness in contemporary Afro-Latinoamérica.

Cervantes-Gómez's essays and book reviews have been published or forthcoming in Journal of Spanish Cultural StudiesAztlán: A Journal of Chicano StudiesMen and MasculinitiesChasquí: Revista de literatura latinoamericanaASAP/Journal and Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies.


Ph.D., University of Southern California
M.A., University of Southern California
M.T.S., Harvard University
B.A., University of California, Riverside


SPAN 254. Introduction to Cultural Analysis
SPAN 326. Sex and Power in the Latin American Aesthetic Imaginary
SPAN/LLS 246. From Deviants to Divas: Performance and Storytelling in Latinx Popular Culture
SPAN 535. The Politics of Pleasure: Latin America Queered, Exposed, and Affected
SPAN 324. Latin American Religion, Myths, and Rituals: Then and Now
SPAN 572. Theory and Literary Criticism

Office Address

4129 FLB
707 South Mathews Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801


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