Current Hemispheric Institute Fellows

Claudia Sofía Garriga López (2016-2017)

Claudia Sofía Garriga López is a doctoral candidate in American Studies at the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis of New York University. She is the author of “Transfeminist Crossroads Reimagining the Ecuadorian State” published in the Transgender Studies Quarterly Special Edition on Transfeminism (2016).  Her doctoral dissertation Gender for All: Transfeminist Politics in Ecuador is a historiography of trans activism in Ecuador over the past two decades.  She recently returned from living Quito, Ecuador where she undertook participatory action research over the course of three years with a number of trans, feminist, and queer activists and artist groups.  Claudia's scholarly work is grounded in a critical engagement with activism, public policy, and public health, as well as close attention to trans performance art and cultural production in Latin America and the Caribbean.


Past Hemispheric Institute Fellows


T.L. Cowan (2013-2014)

T.L. Cowan holds a PhD from the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta and currently teaches trans feminist and queer performance, literary and cultural studies at Eugene Lang College and in the School of Media Studies at The New School. Committed to pursuing a diverse engagement with radical performance cultures, T.L. has published widely in academic, arts and grass-roots print and online journals and anthologies, including Topia, Canadian Theatre Review, Matrix Magazine, Canadian Poetry, and No More Potlucks. As a performance artist, she has been featured internationally, including in a few west-coast tours with Sister Spit in the early 2000s and a muddy stint at the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts in 2004. Recently, T.L. has shown work in venues such as Belladonna in NYC, The Hot! Festival at Dixon Place, Montreal’s Edgy Women Festival, Edmonton’s Visualeyez, Poetry Gabriola, and Toronto’s Festival of Original Theatre. Her performance work includes The Twisted She Project—an intermedial collaborative performance collage that deals with the perversities of contemporary queer femininity—and the ongoing video and performance cycle, Forgiving Medjugorje—a meditation on sex, religion, reconciliation and money. She is also co-convener of DYKE CHECK! Queer Takes on the Revolution, a stage for trans feminist and queer political performance at Dixon Place, and she is the author of GLITTERfesto: An Open Call For A Revolutionary Movement Of Activist Performance Based On The Premise That Social Justice is Fabulous and the creator of several alter-egos that have performance lives of their own, including her most famous alter-ego, Tammy Pamalovovich, Aging Supermodel Lesbian Feminist Experimental Poet Revolutionary. 


Lissette Olivares (2010-2011)

Lissette Olivares, an Assistant Professor and Faculty Fellow at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, pursues interdisciplinary approaches to knowledge production. As an artist, activist, theorist, curator, and storyteller, her work emphasizes feminist epistemologies and draws from a diverse range of methodological approaches in critical theory, performance theory, cultural studies, visual studies, postcolonial studies and posthumanities.  She is especially interested in the interrelationship between aesthetics and politics and in analyzing the role of cultural resistance under periods of political repression. A doctoral candidate in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, she is finishing her dissertation, Repertoires of Literary Resistance, which explores how literary performances during the 80s decade in Chile provided a symbolic space for the articulation of diverse democratic imaginaries. Her educational trajectory has taken her from the Americas to Asia, where she was granted a scholarship from the Chinese government to pursue studies in Mandarin at Beijing University. Lissette is also an alumna of the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program and an independent curator and critic specializing in contemporary art with an emphasis in performance and transmedia. She has curated numerous individual and collective exhibitions, including Chile’s first Performance Biennial in 2006, Grotesques at Toronto’s A Space Gallery in 2008, Disenchantment in the So Called First World at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry in Berlin and most recently Writing Resistance in Crisis and Collaboration at the UCSC Library. In 2009 she co-founded the Museum and Curatorial Studies faculty research group, which is dedicated to exploring exhibitionary poetics and politics.  She is currently seeking non-profit status for The Skin Laboratory, an experimental space dedicated to exploring the dermis as canvas and trope. Her own artistic production has been featured in museums and performance venues around the world, including Christie’s Auction House, the Western Front Society, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Santiago de Chile, and most recently at Kara Walker’s 6-8 Months Project Space. Lissette has been awarded numerous fellowships including, the Jane Dealy Wirsig Prize in Journalism, the McGuire Fellowship from Vassar College, the Curatorial Fellowship at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry -Berlin, and has been granted the Fulbright, Andrew Mellon, Jacob K. Javits, and NYU Transition and Postdoctoral Academic Diversity Fellowships for her interdisciplinary work.  She is currently developing an editorial project about the queer performance collective Las Yeguas del Apocalipsis and an edited volume on curatorial praxis with Lucian Gomoll. As a 2010-2011 fellow at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics Lissette curated a multimedia project for the emisférica issue, “After Truth:  Justice, Memory and Related Aftermaths” which focused on Alfredo Jaar’s recent memorial in Chile, La Geometriá de la Conciencia, (The Geometry of Consciousness).

Carmen Oquendo-Villar (2008-2010)

Carmen Oquendo-Villar (Harvard Ph.D) is a film/media scholar and a documentary filmmaker. She is the Jacob Javits Fellow at NYU’s Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, where she serves as researcher and film curator and at Tisch's Kanbar Institute of Film and Television, where she continues her filmmaking training. Cinema Tropical has selected Oquendo-Villar as one of the 30 leading New York-based film professionals (programmers, distributors, film critics, scholars, journalists, etc.) working on Latino and Latin American cinema today. She has published academic articles on diverse cultural fields including film, media and politics, performance studies, narrative, and gender and sexuality in several scholarly publications including emisférica, Revista: Harvard Review of Latin America and Accounting for Violence: Marketing Memory in Latin America, a forthcoming book from Duke University Press. She is completing a book on Chile’s 1973 Coup as a performance and media event, with Augusto Pinochet as its leading political icon, which will have a hybrid publication format, including a university press book and a multimedia component with archival material and user-generated content. Her second book project deals with Che Guevara and the photography of history in Latin American documentary. As a scholar of social media, Oquendo-Villar engages with the creation of virtual communities by LGBT latin@ groups and the ways they conduct advocacy campaigns online. Her documentaries ( grapple with issues of gender and sexuality, including a series of portraits of members of the Boston latin@ trans community. She is currently working on The Needle (finalist HBO Documentaries competition), a verité documentary about beauty industries/technologies in Puerto Rico, specifically about ideals and practices amongst the transgender community. Sponsored by the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, her next documentary (Diana de Santa Fe) will be filmed in the "tolerance zone" of Santa Fe in Colombia, in collaboration with the Association of Transgender Prostitutes in Bogotá. Oquendo-Villar has been invited to participate in discussions that seek to transcend the traditional divisions between production and critical studies, expanding notions of media creation that provide critical perspectives on the cultural, economic, and practical implications of "old" and "new" media forms. Her research, films, and media projects have been funded by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, the National Endowment for the Arts, WGBH, NALIP's Latino Producers Academy, and Harvard's Film Study Center.

Rafael Abolafia (2008)

Rafael Abolafia earned an MA in English Studies (1996-2000), and has completed the first two academic years of his PhD (2000-2002) at the Faculty of Arts and Educational Sciences / Universidad de Jaén (Spain). He was granted a Sócrates-Erasmus fellowship to study at Northumbria University (Newcastle / UK / 1997-1998). Since 2005, Rafael has worked as a Direction Assistant at Centro Andaluz de Teatro (Junta de Andalucía / Spain), providing directorial assistance in the theatre, coordinating research groups (Transborder Theatre; Gender and Theatre; Andalusian Scenic Heritage; Spectators’ Educational Project) and organizing international encounters (Mediterranean Theatre; Latin American Dramaturgy; European Women on the Stage). Rafael has taken seminars on Theatre and Anthropology (Universidad de Granada / Spain / 2004) and Theatre and Cultural Dialogue (Festival d’Avignon / France / 2008). He received a degree in Acting at Centro de Estudios Escénicos de Andalucía (Spain / 2001-2003) and has performed professionally. Intercultural Performance is one of his major interests for future research.

Silvia Citro (2008)

Silvia Citro is a researcher with CONICET (Argentina), and Associate Professor in the Department of Arts and Anthropology at the University of Buenos Aires. She also leads a group of graduate/postgraduate students and performers who research dances and body techniques from different performative traditions, using kinesthetic-participatory ethnography ( She has written two books about aboriginal rituals and dances of the Argentine Chaco: Cuerpos Significantes. Travesías de una etnografía dialéctica (Biblos, 2009), and La Fiesta del 30 de Agosto entre los Mocovi de Santa Fe (Univ. Buenos Aires, 2007), in collaboration with indigenous authors. She received the Latin-American Musicology Award Samuel Claro Valdez for her study about Mocovi dances.