Core Faculty

Emma Pérez

Emma Pérez


On Leave, Spring 2016

University of Colorado Boulder
Department of Ethnic Studies, 339 UCB
Ketchum 184E
Boulder, CO  80309-0339


Curriculum vitae



Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles - History, 1988
M.A., University of California - Los Angeles, History, 1982
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles - Political Science; Women’s Studies Specialization, 1979


Emma Pérez, born in El Campo, Texas, has published essays in history and feminist theory as well as The Decolonial Imaginary: Writing Chicanas into History.  The book introduces her argument regarding the decolonial imaginary and is cited frequently.  Her essay, “Sexuality and Discourse: Notes from a Chicana Survivor,” has been reprinted in various anthologies and has been quoted from repeatedly for the concept, “sitio y lengua.”  Pérez’s novel, Gulf Dreams, was first published in 1996 and was considered one of the first Chicana lesbian novels in print.  Aunt Lute Books reissued the second edition in May 2009.  From 1990 until 2003, she was a faculty member of the Department of History, University of Texas, El Paso.  In fall 2003, she joined the Department of Ethnic Studies at University of Colorado, Boulder where she is currently Chair and Full Professor.  Her recent novel, Forgetting the Alamo, Or, Blood Memory, (University of Texas Press, 2009) is a “Chicana lesbian western” that challenges white-male-centered westerns.  The novel was awarded the Christopher Isherwood Writing Grant in December 2009, won 2nd place in Historical Fiction from International Latino Books and was a finalist in Fiction from the Lambda Literary Fiction Awards as well as a finalist in Historical Fiction from the Golden Crown Literary Awards.  She is currently conducting research on a speculative novel that uses Antonio Guadí’s architecture in Barcelona as the backdrop and landscape of the novel.  Pérez continues to theorize how our work may decolonize race and sexuality.

School of Criticism and Theory Dartmouth College, 1993

Postcolonial Theory with Homi Bhabha
Psychoanalytic Theory with Juliet Mitchell


Fiction Workshops Fiction Workshop (Master Class)

New York Writers Summer Institute, Skidmore College, 2009
With Mary Gordon and Marilynne Robinson
Novel Workshop, Denver, March 2005
With Tom Jenks
Fiction Workshop, Columbia University, Spring 2000
With A. M. Homes

Selected Publications


Forgetting the Alamo, Or, Blood Memory. Austin:  University of Texas Press, Chicana Matters Series, September 2009. (Novel).  Awarded: Christopher Isherwood Writing Grant, 2009; Lammy Finalist in General Fiction, Lambda Literary Foundation, New York, NY, June 2010; Second Place, Historical Fiction, 12th Annual International Latino Literary Book Awards, June 2010; Goldie Historical Fiction Finalist, Golden Crown Literary Awards.

The Decolonial Imaginary:  Writing Chicanas into History.  Bloomington:  Indiana University Press, June 1999.

Gulf Dreams.  Berkeley:  Third Woman Press, 1996. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books, 2009, reprint. (Novel).

Journal Articles

Gloria Anzaldúa, La Gran Nueva Mestiza Theorist, Writer, Activist Scholar.” National Women’s Studies Association Journal, 17:2 (Summer 2005): 1-10.

Borderland Queers:  The Challenges of Excavating the Invisible and Unheard. ” Frontiers:  A Journal of Women’s Studies 24: 2 and 3 (2003): 122-31.

“So Far From God, So Close to the United States:  A Call for Action by U.S. Authorities.”  Aztlán:  A Journal of Chicano Studies, 28:2 (2003): 147-51.

Book Chapters

Decolonial Border Queers: Case Studies of Lesbians, Gay Men and Transgendered in El Paso/Juárez.” In Performing the US Latin@ Borderlands. Eds. Arturo J. Aldama, Peter J. Garcia, and Chela Sandoval, Indiana University Press, in-press.

“It’s Not About the Gender in My Nation, But About the Nation in My Gender: The Decolonial Virgen in A Decolonial Site.” In Our Lady of Controversy. Eds. Alicia Gaspar de Alba and Alma López. Austin: University of Texas Press, forthcoming 2010.

“Staking the Claim:  Introducing Applied Chicana/o Cultural Studies.”  In The Chicana/o Cultural Studies Forum:  Critical and Ethnographic Practices. Ed. Angie Chabram-Dernersesian.  New York:  New York University Press, 2007, 121-124.

“Chicanos and Chicanas.”  The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States. Eds. Deena González and Suzanne Oboler.  New York:  Oxford University Press, Volume 1, 2005, 322-332.


Las Shameless Sisters. A chica-lit novel. Under review.

I, Ben Espinoza:  A Speculative Novel. In-progress.