Professor Karen Jaime's book The Queer Nuyorican: Racialized Sexualities and Aesthetics in Loisaida (NYU Press, 2021) was awarded a Silver Medal in The Victor Villaseñor Best Latino Focused Book category at the 24th Annual International Latino Book Awards held on Aug 19-20 in Los Angeles.
Jaime is an Assistant Professor of Performing and Media Arts and Latina/o Studies at Cornell University and currently a Mellon/HIDVL Scholar in Residence at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at NYU.
Jaime's research hinges on a broad theoretical inquiry into the rendering and consequential function of race, gender, and sexuality in performance, specifically as performance relates to Latinidad. Her examination of queer Latinx cultural productions is what animates the theoretical work of The Queer Nuyorican, the first queer genealogy and critical study of the historical, political, and cultural conditions under which the term "Nuyorican" shifted from a raced/ethnic identity marker to "nuyorican," an aesthetic practice. In this book, Jaime highlights the role of queer and transgender artists of color at the famed Nuyorican Poets Cafe.
As evidenced by The Queer Nuyorican, Jaime's writing on Latinidad, queer of color critique, visual cultures, and minoritarian aesthetics is an interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary proposition underscoring her ongoing research and how—as both a scholar and an artist—she consistently aims to bring critical theory into conversation with performance practice.
In addition to her critical writing and research, she is an accomplished spoken word/performance artist. She served as the host of the Friday Night Poetry Slam at the world-renowned Nuyorican Poets Cafe, participated in the spoken word documentary Spit! and was featured in the Emmy-award winning CUNY-TV program, Nueva York, a show focusing on the different aspects of Latina/o/x culture in New York City.
"I am excited at the reception and recognition that The Queer Nuyorican is receiving. I never would have imagined that my relationship with the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and its history—beginning with my first time performing there after graduating from Cornell—would result in my writing a book and receiving this incredible award."
Congratulations, Professor Jaime!