Manuel R. Cuellar

Professor Manuel Cuellar

Manuel R. Cuellar

Associate Professor of Spanish Literature


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.

Research and Teaching Fields:

  • 20th & 21st Century Mexican and Latin American Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Performance and Dance Studies
  • Queer, Gender & Feminist Studies
  • Latina/o/x Studies
  • Nahuatl Language and Culture
  • Colonial and Postcolonial Studies
  • Afro-descendants in Mexico


  • SPAN 2500. The Spanish-Speaking World: Spain, Latin America, and the United States
  • SPAN 4480: Studies in Latinx Cultural Production
  • SPAN 4450: Mexican Literature and Culture
  • SPAN 4600: Latin/x American Migrations
  • SPAN 3570: Women Writers of Spain and Latin America
  • SPAN 3550: Queer Latin America
  • SPAN 3410: Latin American Short Fiction
  • SPAN 3100: General Readings in Spanish and Latin American Literature
  • SPAN 3100 W: Texts and Contexts of the Spanish-Speaking World
  • WGSS 3170: Queer Latin America
  • WGSS 3170: Women Writers of Spain and Latin America



  • “Black Imaginaries and Nahua Rhetoric in Colonial Mexico: Diario de Domingo de San Antón Muñón Chimalpahin Quahtlehuanitzin,” Ethnohistory (forthcoming)
  • “Prácticas discursivas y espaciales en El vampiro de la colonia Roma de Luis Zapata,” A Contracorriente 19.1 (2021): 103-128
  • “La escenificación de lo mexicano y la interpelación de un público nacional: la Noche Mexicana de 1921” in Mexican Transnational Cinema and Literature. Eds. Maricruz Castro Ricalde, Mauricio Díaz Calderón, and James Ramey. Peter Lang. (2017)
  • “Fiesta Performance as Epistemology,” Performance Research, 20 (2015): 123-135. Co-author: Angela Marino.


  • “La bio-política en contra de sí. Víctimas y contra-víctimas en el México contemporáneo” by Estelle Tarica. Heridas abiertas. Biopolítica y representación en América Latina. Eds. Ignacio Sánchez Prado and Mabel Moraña. Iberoamericana & Vervuert. (2014)

Book Reviews: