Dr. Kristie Soares
Assistant Professor • Co-Director, LGBTQ Studies Certificate Program
Women and Gender Studies

Pronouns: She/her/hers and They/them/theirs

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Kristie Soares is Assistant Professor of Women & Gender Studies and Co-Director of LGBTQ Studies. They are also a performance artist. Both their performance work and their research explore queerness in Caribbean and Latinx communities. They earned a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara, an MA in Comparative Literature from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a BA in English and Women’s Studies from the University of Florida.

Professor Soares’ book, Playful Protest: The Political Work of Joy in Latinx Media (University of Illinois Press, 2023), argues that joy is a politicized form of pleasure that goes beyond gratification to challenge norms of gender, sexuality, race, and class. Soares focuses on the diasporic media of Puerto Rico and Cuba to examine how music, public activist demonstrations, social media, sitcoms, and other areas of culture resist the dominant stories told about Latinx joy. As Soares shows, Latinx creators compose versions of joy central to social and political struggle and at odds with colonialist and imperialist narratives that equate joy with political docility and a lack of intelligence. Soares builds their analysis around chapters that delve into gozando in salsa music, precise joy among the New Young Lords Party, choteo in the comedy ¿Qué Pasa U.S.A.?azúcar in the life and death of Celia Cruz, dale as Pitbull’s signature affect, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s use of silliness to take seriously political violence.

Professor Soares is also currently working on an oral history project that explores the role of Latinx disc jockeys in the development of disco and dance music in 1970s New York. This is part of a larger book project entitled Macho Man: Performances of Latinidad in the Disco Era. 

Soares’ work has been published in Signs, Feminist Studies, Meridians, Frontiers, Letras Femeninas, Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, Remezcla, LatinxSpaces, Latino Rebels, and The Los Angeles Review of Books.

Professor Soares’ teaching draws heavily on queer and performance methodologies. They encourags students to “try out” intellectual concepts using their bodies, through decolonial pedagogies such as Theatre of the Oppressed. They also facilitate performance poetry workshops.

Featured Publications:

"Playful Protest: The Political Work of Joy in Latinx Media." University of Illinois Press (2023).

"Joy, Rage, and Activism: The Gendered Politics of Affect in the Young Lords Party.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 46.4. (2021)

“Reflections on Anti-Racist Feminist Pedagogy & Organizing: This Bridge, 40 Years Later.” Forthcoming in a special issue of Feminist Studies. (2021)

“Dominican Futurism: The Speculative Use of Negative Aesthetics in the Work of Rita Indiana.” Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism 19.2. (2020)

“Latin Lovers, Chismosas, and Gendered Discourses of Power”: The Role of the Subjective Narrator in Jane the Virgin.Decolonizing Latinx Masculinity. Eds. Arturo Aldama and Frederick Aldama. Tuscon: U of Arizona P. (2019)

"Incomodando: On the Role of Bothering in Rita Indiana’s Speculative Work.”  ASAP/J special cluster on Latinx Speculative Fiction. (2019)

“The Cuban Missile Crisis of White Masculinity: Tito Bonito and the Burlesque Butt.”The Routledge Companion to Gender, Sex and Pop Culture in Latin America. Routledge (2017)

Garzona Nationalism: The Confluence of Gender, Sexuality and Citizenship in the Cuban Republic.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies 35.3 (2014)

“The Political Implications of Playing Hopefully: A Negotiation of the Present and the Utopic in Queer Theory.” The Un/Making of Latina/o Citizenship: Culture, Politics and Aesthetics. Ed. Ellie D. Hernández and Eliza Rodriguez y Gibson. New York: Palgrave Macmillan (2014)

 “’Who Do I Have to Forgive to Move On From This Place?’: Meditations from a Third World Feminist Lesbian.” Queer Girls in the Class: Lesbian Teachers and Students Tell Their Classroom Stories. Ed. Lori Horvitz. New York: Peter Lang (2011)

“Traveling Queer Subjects: Homosexuality in the Cuban Diaspora.” Revista de Estudios Hispánicos 45.3 (2011)

"From Canary Birds to Suffrage: Lavinia’s Feminist Role in Who Would Have Thought It?Letras Femeninas 35.2: 211-229 (2009)