Manuel R. Cuellar focuses on Mexican literary and cultural studies with an emphasis on race, gender, and sexuality. He holds a Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures from the University of California, Berkeley. His research engages questions of performance, especially as they concern dance, indigeneity, and Afro-mestizo imaginaries in Mexico, combining ethnographic fieldwork, archival research, and studies of contemporary and classical Nahuatl, Mexico’s most widely spoken and written Indigenous language. Another area of related interest, reflected explicitly in his teaching and ongoing research, is US Latina/o/x Studies with a focus on community-engaged learning. For almost 30 years, Dr. Cuellar has been a practitioner of Mexican folklórico dance, as an instructor and performer, and he is currently part of D.C.’s Corazón Folklórico Dance Company. Dr. Cuellar’s strong background in Mexican traditional dance has led him to explore dance’s role in Mexican national identity, indigeneity, and queerness in Mexico and the United States. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Performance Research, A Contracorriente, Mexican Transnational Cinema and Literature, and Ethnohistory. His is the author of Choreographing Mexico: Festive Performances and Dancing Histories of a Nation (UT Press 2022), which studies how written, photographic, cinematographic, and choreographic renderings of a festive Mexico highlight the role that dance has played in processes of citizen formation and national belonging, from the late Porfirian regime to the immediate post-revolutionary era (1910-1940).
Dr. Cuellar is an Affiliated Faculty of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, the Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute, and the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service.