Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Cathryn Merla-Watson

Second Advisor

Dr. Randall Monty

Third Advisor

Dr. Marci McMahon


U.S. public discourse and popular media are rife with monstrous metaphors of Latinxs. This thesis argues that these gothic monstrous metaphors construct an affective economy of fear, which results in material violence and the devastation of Latinx lives. I further argue that to intervene within this affective economy, Latinx authors write speculative fiction, employing critical race methodologies, to negotiate monstrosity in relation to citizenship. In other words, speculative Latinx authors disidentify with monsters and enact epistemic disobedience, problematizing the known and naturalized and delinking Latinx people from monstrous metaphors to interrupt cycles of fear and violence. In exploring this metaphoric disidentification, I build from across many disciplines, including scholars such as Gloria Anzaldúa, Cathryn Merla-Watson and Otto Santa Anna to analyze the works The Hungry Woman: A Mexican Medea by Cherríe Moraga, Mexican gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado. This is a critical race project which not only discusses its methodologies, but enacts them. Through counterstory, this thesis pushes back against dominant epistemologies. In sum, through analysis of these complex negotiations of monstrosity, this thesis demonstrates how speculative Latinx authors engage in decolonial activism, reframing the way Latinx people are perceived and, hopefully, treated.


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