Erika Almenara is assistant professor of Spanish in the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of Arkansas. Her research interests include twentieth- and twenty-first-century Latin American cultural production, especially in the cases of marginalized subjects and communities.
Often, the process of modern state formation is founded on the marginalization of certain groups, and Latin America is no exception. In The Language of the In-Between, Erika Almenara contends that literary production replicates this same process. Looking at marginalized communities in Chile and Peru, particularly writers who are travesti, trans, cuir/queer, and Indigenous, the author shows how these writers stake a claim for the liminal space that is neither one thing nor the other. This allows a freedom to expose oppression and to critique a national identity based on erasure. By employing a language of nonnormative gender and sexuality to dispute the state projects of modernity and modernization, the voice of the poor and racialized travesti evolves from powerlessness to become an agent of social transformation.