Maja Horn

Associate Professor, Spanish & Latin American Cultures

Barnard University

Heyman Center Fellow 2016-17

Project Description: 

In the book manuscript “Queer Dominican Epistemologies,” Maja Horn addresses how contemporary Dominican artists, performers, and writers have introduced same-sex subjects and desires with great success to Dominican mainstream audiences despite presumably high levels of homophobia in the country. This robust body of creative works has been largely overlooked in scholarship because it does not partake in familiar global LGBT discourses of identity, coming out, and pride. I thus offer an important corrective to the perceived relative absence of public expressions of same-sex desire in the Dominican Republic. Moreover, I suggest how the autochthonous strategies for making same-sex desire public in the works of nationally and internationally known artists, performers, and writers offer key cultural and political alternatives to the lingua franca of LGBT identity and sexual rights discourses. The Heyman Center Faculty Fellowship allowed Horn to rework the current draft of this book project, particularly the introductory chapter, which she workshopped with the fellows. 

Maja Horn is an associate professor at Barnard College in Spanish and Latin American Cultures. She received her B.A. in Latin American Literature from Smith College in 1998, an M.A. in Performance Studies from NYU in 2002, and her Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from Cornell University in 2005. Before joining the Barnard faculty in 2006, she was a research associate at FLACSO (Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where she developed and taught a performance studies concentration.Professor Horn specializes in contemporary Caribbean cultures with a focus on literature, visual and performance art, and political culture. She published the book Masculinity after Trujillo: The Politics of Gender in Dominican Literature (University Press of Florida, 2014), and is currently completing a second book on queer Dominican literature, visual and performance arts. She also has published widely on Latin American and Caribbean arts for various art magazines in the U.S. and in the Dominican Republic. At Barnard College she teaches courses on Caribbean literature, visual and performance arts, as well as courses about gender and sexualities in the Americas. Maja Horn is affiliated with and teaches regularly for the Africana Studies Program at Barnard College. She also teaches graduate seminars for the Department of Latin American and Iberian Studies and is an affiliate of CSER  (The Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race) at Columbia University.