Prof. Laura Lomas (Newark-American Studies) recently published "Afro-Latina Disidentification and Bridging: Lourdes Casal’s Critical Race Theory" in the journal Meridians.
The exiled Cuban poet, editor, and feminist Lourdes Casal breaks with social scientific convention and identifies in the first person with “Hispanic Blackness,” feminism, and Cuba in her essays about race and revolution. Her bridging of identity categories informs Casal’s self-definition as a “radicalized” social scientist who sheds light on academic feminism’s blindspots and who applauds the revolutionary recognition of Cuban culture as “Latin-African.” Casal forges decolonial tools for dismantling the master’s house by adapting feminist rhetorical strategies of self-inscription that make palpable the entrenched effects of anti-Black violence. Casal’s scholarship practices what queer Cuban philosopher José Muñoz calls “disidentification.” Against a tradition that dismisses women as monsters, she reformats Cuban and Black thought by assuming the role of Shakespeare and Fernández Retamar’s Caliban. This essay invites the reader to remember Casal’s 1970s essays as foundationally intersectional, decolonial, antiracist, and feminist.