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PhD candidate @ University of Birmingham


Jess White (BA, MA University of Birmingham) is a translator and PhD student in Hispanic Studies. They research disruptions of dominant discourses of identity in Speculative fiction from Brazil and the Hispanic Caribbean to create, reclaim and own space that is capacious and transformative for new identities and possibilities, amplifying voices otherwise erased by hegemonic discourse.

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Crossing Borders


Queer Interspecies: Dismantling Borders and Dualisms in the Dominican Republic

Speculative literature is often written from places of struggle and is born of a fight for equality and visibility. This genre facilitates the demonstration of the ways in which the past can be rewritten through a future lens. Although the subject of little scholarship within this field, the Dominican Republic is an inherently fruitful context and makes a vital contribution to discussions on race, gender and sexuality within the realms of the speculative. This paper will examine queer politics and the porous boundaries of gender and sexuality and oppression rooted in hierarchies of gender, race and class in La Mucama de Omincunlé, a novel by multidisciplinary artist and writer, Rita Indiana. It will trouble the notion of the binary and traverse dualisms of gender and sexual identities, establishing the ways in which this work creates a space with borders porous enough to allow for the coexistence of the Queer, Black, Brown and the Other within this context. Based on capitalism, colonialism and slavery, the Dominican Republic is a vital backdrop for discussions of race and LGBTQIA+ identities, as these questions are still very much taboo. This paper explores explore this novel in the context of Afro- spirituality and its significance within discussions of queerness and gender, in particular transgender bodies and androgynous, non-binary figures.

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