Sexual Identity in Literature and Drama

By: Manuel Estela

University of Puerto Rico- Mayagüez student and moderator Omar Palermo Torres, 26, introduced the panel “Sexualities Queer Literature and Drama” on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at the V Coloquio sobre sexualidades diversas ¿Del otro la’o?. Palermo Torres presented panelists Victoria Martínez, William García and Dinorah Cortés. There were 10 people seated in the event.

After the introductions panelists began talking about storybooks about homosexuality and patriarchal hierarchy. Dr. Martínez, professor of Mexican literature, explained the relationship between children and their parents and their lover and how the border represents a point of everyday culture, and as a literary example she used the book “Everything Begins and Ends in the Kentucky Club” by Benjamin Sáenz. Dr. Martínez said that the book presented in a narrative, intimate and sentimental fashion the characters’ sexual identities and the fear to express it openly and about the possible love between characters.

The second panelist was Dr. William García, a UPRM graduate and Mexican literature professor, who spoke about the abolition of identities and regulations and the reflections on the repressive patriarchal effects. Dr García said how the effects of hyper masculinity and homophobia affected the characters of a story called “The Dagger”.

The third speaker was Dr. Dinorah Cortés Vélez, Marquette University professor from the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, who explained the story in the book “Postcards from Sodom and Gomorrah,” which was about a lesson in homosexual identity and the patriarchal hierarchy. Another literary text discussed was “The Portable Famine” by Rane Arroyo, which portrayed the “longing for that feeling space” and “how the body of individuals wants to be someone else’s history”

After the panel Elena Dalla Torre, Track Assistant Professor at, Saint Louis University was an attendee and shared her views about what was explained throughout the event. Elena explained that the presentation combined valid literature and focused on the construction of masculinity. The theme of the panel was the representation of homosexuality, and the literary genre in
the Chicanan novel about the politic, normative, and traditional.

Afterwards the attendee began to explain what the topics that each panelist presented had in common. What the topics had in common was the theoretical focus, the theory about masculinity and how three academics work in studies “Queer” and how they work in the U.S., Mexico, Chicana literature and Caribbean studies.

This photo presents the panelists from left to right Dinorah Cortés, William García and Victoria Martínez as they are about to present the topics of the panel.

This photo presents the panelists from left to right Dinorah Cortés, William García and Victoria
Martínez as they are about to present the topics of the panel.

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