Research

Initially my scholarship focused on contemporary Cuba and specifically a group of poet musicians, called trovadores, who chronicle life on the island from the ‘80s to the present. I traveled to Cuba on and off over a period of about 10 years, first during what is called the “Special Period.” My purpose was to interview trovadores and attend concerts and informal descargas of these musicians who rarely have occasion to perform in the United States. Having studied music and Modern Dance before completing my PhD in Hispanic Literature, my research naturally incorporated the performing arts into my studies of Cuban culture and literature. In 2013 Lexington Books published my book, Song and Social Change in Latin America, an edited volume of scholarly essays combined with interviews with musicians such as Ruben Blades, Roy Brown, and Ana Tijoux. Then my interests turned to researching documentary films that deal with immigration issues.  In 2017 University of Florida Press published my book, co-edited with Esteban Loustaunau, Telling Migrant Stories: Latin American Diaspora in Documentary Film.