In 2013, I received my Master’s in English Literature at UTSA. My thesis, “Queer (Cyber) Spaces: Representations of Queer Subjectivities in Queer Digital Communities,” examines how online citizenship is shaped through software and site interfaces and how this impacts the staging and (re)presentations of queer identities online. I begin by discussing popular constructions of cyberspaces and the techno/human divide and consider the politics of online enviroments and material, ICT infrastructures I trace the development of computer technology in the United States and consider the politics of search engines, metadata schema, and net neutrality. I then examine how the It Gets Better Project, a non-profit site addressing the issue of queer youth suicide, polices queer citizenship and its unproductive insistence on (re)presentations of “healthy” queer bodies. I also examine the informational video logs created by transmen documenting their transition on Youtube. I explore the politics of the site structure, reflect on how online communities “read” and affirm gender identity online while considering what role these confessional-style vlogs play in the history of trans-visibility in the U.S and the impact of such visibility on audiences of queer working-class people of color.
In 2009, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies and English at UTSA. I have the immense honor of being UTSA’s first Women’s Studies graduate. My work coalesced into an Honor’s Thesis entitled, “’No se raje, Chicanita’: An Exploration of Identity Politics, Social Scripts, and Power Negotiations in Latina Authors’ Youth Literature.” This paper explores Latina-authored youth literature geared towards young Latinas. Utilizing women of color feminisms, I critique hegemonic representations of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality in popular youth literatures and discuss the role of multiculturalism in the neoliberal classroom and its effects. I then analyze three texts and their visuals, My Name is María Isabel by Alma Flor Ada, Prietita and the Ghost Woman by Gloria Anzaldúa, and Diana Gonzalez Bertrand’s Sweet Fifteen. Each text addresses specific themes and experiences in the Latina community including the politics of visual representations of domestic spaces and the bodies of people of color. My thesis was subsequently chosen to represent UTSA at the 2010 National Collegiate Honors Council’s Portz Scholars Award.