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Susana Chávez-Silverman

Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures
With Pomona Since: 1989
Susana Chavez-Silverman
  • Expertise

    Expertise

    Susana Chávez-Silverman’s bilingual memoir, Killer Crónicas: Bilingual Memories (UWP 2004), was described by Publisher’s Weekly as “not a memoir written outside the box; it is a memoir written to obliterate it.” She’s the author of a second bilingual creative nonfiction volume, Scenes from la Cuenca de Los Angeles y otros Natural Disasters (UWP 2010). Both books, along with Chávez-Silverman’s performed readings have been praised as groundbreaking work that makes artistic use of the overlap between Spanish and English (and various in-betweens), sometimes termed “Spanglish” or code-switching. Her brazenly bilingual (and sometimes polyglot) crónicas have been widely published in online and print journals and anthologies, such as the inaugural Norton Anthology of Latino Literature (2010) and in Ambientes: New Queer Latino Writing (2011). Heartthrob: del Balboa Cafe al Apartheid and Back (2019) constitutes her definitive life story (hasta ahora).

    As a scholar of Latin American and U.S. Latinx literature, she co-edited Tropicalizations: Transcultural Representations of Latinidad (UPNE/Dartmouth 1997) and Reading and Writing the Ambiente: Queer Sexualities in Latino, Latin American and Spanish Culture (Wisconsin 2000). She has published on Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik, as well as on other Latin American and U.S. Latinx authors. Her teaching and research interests include: poetry and poetics, gender and queer sexualities studies, memory, trauma, life writing, and alternative or “minor” literary genres (epistolary, diary, memoir, email and text messages).

    Research Interests

    • Latin American and U.S. Latinx Literature and Culture
    • Poetry
    • Queer Sexualities in Latinx American Cultures & Literatures

    Areas of Expertise

    SPANISH

    • Latin American and U.S. Latina-o/Chicana-o Literature and Culture
    • Poetry
    • Queer Sexualities in Latina-o/Latina-o American Cultures & Literatures.
  • Work

    Work

    Books

    Heartthrob: del Balboa Cafe al Apartheid and Back. (University of Wisconsin Press, 2019).

    Scenes from la Cuenca de Los Angeles y otros Natural Disasters (University of Wisconsin Press, 2010)

    Killer Crónicas: Bilingual Memories (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2004).

    Co-editor, with L. Hernandez, Reading and Writing the Ambiente: Queer Sexualities in Latino, Latin American and Spanish Culture. (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2000)

    Co-editor, with F.R. Aparicio, Tropicalizations: Transcultural Representations of Latinidad. (Dartmouth: University of New England Press, 1997).

    With M.C. McDonald, La poesia espanola e hispanoamericana: Evolucion y analysis. (Pretoria: University of South Africa Press, 1983).

    Audio Recordings

    Audio Recordings from Killer Crónicas, read by the author (October 2010). Visit: http://uwpress.wisc.edu/books/2616-audio.html  

    Audio recordings from Scenes from la Cuenca de Los Angeles y otros Natural Disasters, read by the author (June 2010). Visit: http://uwpress.wisc.edu/books/4715-audio.html

    Journal articles/crónicas

    “CROWN Crónica” in “The Great Dis-Equalizer: the Covid-19 Crisis,” a special double curated issue of PORTAL, Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies. Vol. 17, No. 1-2, Dec. 2020 (113-115).

    “Winter Solstice Wetland/de la Felicidad Crónica.” Hostos Review/Revista Hostosiana: An International Journal of Literature and Culture. Contemporary Queer Writing in English and Spanish in the Americas. Special Issue. Guest Editors: Claudia Salazar Jiménez & Larry La Fountain-Stokes, vol.16, 2020 (107-112).

    “Otro (mi) Modo de Ver Crónica.” Contrapuntos VI, Ed. Marcos Pico  Rentería (January 2019).

    Selections from Scenes from la Cuenca de Los Angeles y otros Natural Disasters, reprinted by permission in Dear Los Angeles: The  City in Diaries and Letters, 1542-2018. David Kipen, Ed. New York: Modern Library, 2018.

    “After ‘The Turn of the Screw’/Life’s a Peach Crónica.” PORTAL,  Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, vol. 15, no. 1-2, August 2018.

    “Axolotl/Bichos Raros Crónicas.” Hostos Review/Revista Hostosiana. Special Issue: Gestos de la Memoria/Gestures of Memory.  Seven Latin American/Latina Writers of Jewish Origin in the U.S. Guest Editor: Carlota Caulfield. Núm/Issue 14, 2018 (December 2017), 93-95 (reprinted by permission of PORTAL, Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies).

    “Cono Sur Mitzvah Crónica.” Hostos Review/Revista Hostosiana. Special Issue: Gestos de la Memoria/Gestures of Memory. Seven Latin American/Latina Writers of Jewish Origin in the U.S. Núm/Issue 14, 2018 (December 2017), 89-92 (from Killer Crónicas: Bilingual Memories, reprinted by permission of UWP).

    “Explosión Suave/GIFT Crónica.” Hostos Review/Revista Hostosiana. Special Issue: Gestos de la Memoria/Gestures of Memory. Seven Latin American/Latina Writers of Jewish Origin in the U.S. Núm/Issue 14, 2018 (December 2017), 96-98.

    Ambigüedad en el Sur Crónica.” InterAlia: A Journal of Queer Studies. Special Issue: Entre Otros/as: Perspectivas Queer en el mundo hispánico. No. 12, July 2017 (279-282).

    Southern Ecotone: Magnetic-Domestic Crónica.” InterAlia: A Journal of Queer Studies. Special Issue: Entre Otros/as: Perspectivas Queer en el mundo hispánico. No. 12, July 2017 (283-286).

    Black Holes/Deshielo Crónica.” PORTAL, Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, vol. 14, no. 1, April 2017. Cultural Works: Transitions and Dislocations.

    Casi Víspera/Baby Colibrí Resucitado Crónica.” PORTAL, Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies vol. 14, no. 1, April 2017. Cultural Works: Transitions and Dislocations.

    Solstice HartSeer: Recordando ‘La Chascona’ y ‘La Sebastiana’ Crónica.” PORTAL, Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, vol. 13, No. 1, January 2016. The Transcultural Edge, curated by Ilaria Vanni Accarigi.

    Acción de Gracias Crónica” and “Mount Baldy/Winter is ons Siesoen Crónica.” TEXTOS HIBRIDOS Vol. 4 (2015) / ISSN: 2157-0159

    Todo verdor perdurará Crónica”/All Green Will Endure Chronicle.” Translation by Ellen C. Jones.  Asymptote (July 15, 2015).

    Heart Hold On Crónica” (revised and reprinted with permission). PORTAL, Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies vol. 11, no. 2, July 2014.

    Heart Hold On Crónica” and “Nina/Nahla Chrismy Crónica.” Zona De Carga/Loading Zone. August 2014 (print and online).

    Rock Water Ladder Dream Crónica,” “Teensy Ex Africa Crónica” and “Astral Logic Crónica.”  PORTAL, Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies vol. 11, no. 1, January 2014 (published August 2014).

    “Interview” in Things We Do Not Talk About: Exploring Latino/a Literature through Essays and Interviews. Daniel A. Olivas. San Diego State UP, June 2014; 155-57.

    Axolotl/Bichos Raros Crónica” and “The Artist in/and Me Crónica.” PORTAL, Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies Vol 9, No 2 (2012): Imagined Transcultural Histories and Geographies

    “Magnetic Island Sueño Crónica.” Revised version reprinted by permission in Ambientes: New Queer Latino Writing. Lázaro Lima and Felice Picano, Eds. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2011 (159-64).

    “Killer Crónica.” Reprinted by permission in the Norton Anthology of Latino Literature. Ed. Ilan Stavans. 2010.

    “Essays in Containment: Another Look at Madness and its Displacements Chez Pizarnik.” Alejandra, ed. Ivonne Bordelois and Pedro Cuperman (New York/Buenos Aires: Syracuse University Press/Editorial Paidós, 2010), pp. 58-77.  The volume is a special issue of Point of Contact 10:1-2.

    Book Chapters

    “Killer Crónica.” Reprinted by permission in the Norton Anthology of Latino Literature. Ed. Ilan Stavans. 2010.

    “Gender, Sexuality and Silence(s) in the Writing of Alejandra Pizarnik.” Arbol de Alejandra: Pizarnik Reassessed. Fiona Mackintosh, ed., with Karl Posso. (England: Tamesis, 2007: 13-35).

    “Killer Crónica.” In Lengua Fresca: Latinos Writing on the Edge. Eds. Harold Augenbraum and Ilan Stavans. (Boston & New York: Mariner/Houghton Mifflin, 2006), 33-40.

    "Alicia Gaspar de Alba," in Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States, (D.J. Gonzalez and S. Oboler, eds., Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2005).

    “Gendered Bodies and Borders in Contemporary Chican@ Performance and Literature.” Velvet Barrios: Popular Culture & Chicana/o Sexualities. Ed. Alicia Gaspar de Alba. (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2003), 215-227.

    “La osadía del imaginar femenino: eros y estética en Noche estrellada.” Memorial de una escritura: Aproximaciones a la obra de Marjorie Agosín. Ed. Emma Sepúlveda. (Santiago, Chile: Cuarto Propio, 2003), 137-151.

    "The Poetry of Octavio Paz and Alejandra Pizarnik." Jewish Culture and the Hispanic World: Essays in Memory of Joseph H. Silverman. Eds. S.G. Armistead and Mishael Caspi. (Newark, DE: Juan de la Cuesta, 2001), 129-143.

    "La función de lo erótico en la poesía de Marjorie Agosín y Alicia Gaspar deAlba." La Poesía Hispánica de los Estados Unidos: aproximaciones críticas. Eds. Lilianet Brintrup, Juan Armando Epple, and Carmen de Mora. (Seville, Spain: Universidad de Sevilla Press, 2001), 89-104.

    “Alejandra Pizarnik.” Who’s Who in Gay and Lesbian History. Eds. Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon. (London: Routledge, 2001).

    “Tropicalizing the Liberal Arts College Classroom.” Power, Race, and Gender in Academe: Strangers in the Tower? Eds. María Herrera-Sobek and Shirley Geok-lin Lim. (New York: MLA, 2000), 132-153.

    “The Autobiographical as Horror in the Poetry of Alejandra Pizarnik.” Critical Studies on the Feminist Subject in the Americas. Ed. Giovanna Covi. (Trento, Italy: Universitá degli Studi di Trento,1997), 265-277.

    "The Look that Kills: The 'Unacceptable Beauty' of Alejandra Pizarnik's La condesa sangrienta ." ¿Entiendes? Queer Readings, Hispanic Writings. Eds. Emilie L. Bergmann & Paul Julian Smith. (Duke University Press, 1995), 281-305.

  • Education

    Education

    1991, Ph.D., Spanish
    University of California, Davis

    1979, Master of Arts, Romance Languages and Literatures
    Harvard University

    1977, Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude
    University of California, Irvine

    Recent Courses Taught

    El deseo de la palabra: Poetry or Death

    From the Boom to Literatura Lite: Gender/Genre in Latin Amer. Lit/Culture

    Intro to Literary Analysis

    Tropicalizations

  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    2nd place for Best Autobiography in the International Latino Book Awards (for Heartthrob: del Balboa Cafe al Apartheid and Back) 

    Lucas Artist Program, Artist in Residency Fellowship (Montalvo Arts Center), 2008 (awarded 2006).

    El andar magazine, First Prize for Personal Memoir, "Anniversary Crùnica," 2002.

    National Endowment for the Humanities; Fellowship, 2000-2001; Summer Research Grants, 1992, 1993, and 1998-2000, 2002-2007; Sabbatical Research Grant, 1993-1994.