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June 27, 2023

Alexandra Mira Alonso Presented her Research at the American Comparative Literature Association Conference

With the support of the Georgetown Americas Institute, Alexandra Mira Alonso traveled to Chicago and Niagara Falls to present her research at the American Comparative Literature Association Conference (ACLA) and Northeast Modern Language Association.

Alexandra Mira Alonso
Alexandra Mira Alonso

On March 16, the ACLA conference took place at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Chicago, where hundreds of scholars around the United States met to share their research on literature and humanities. Mira Alonso attended several panels, some of which discussed meme aesthetics, image and sound reading, and memory politics, including her project, television uncontextualized testimony.

At ACLA, Mira Alonso shared a draft of her project with colleagues, which was subsequently presented at the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) conference the following week in Niagara Falls (March 23-26). Mira Alonso incorporated feedback from the two conferences and has now submitted her project for consideration to a peer-review journal.

"The conferences served as training settings where I conducted an in-depth analysis of how media constructs queer identity in times of mental and political crisis."

Drawing from the Latin American notion of "testimonio,” explored by scholars such as John Beverly, Mira Alonso’s project studies queer and trans voices in Hispanic autofiction and autobiography. Originally engaging in uncontextualized uses of testimonio in television and media, this project evolved to focus on a defined case, that of Cristina ‘La Veneno’ Ortiz — a renowned trans woman whose autobiographical construction (voice recording, transcription, and film production) entailed a social change for a post-dictatorial Spain. The paper presented how her voice reconstruction in the HBO television biopic, based on her testimonio novel, not only challenged the original narrative but also resulted in diverse approaches to social and political interactions —sometimes romanticized yet shared within the queer community.

Mira Alonso also attended presentations on related topics and learned other approaches, which enriched her viewpoint and made her question her own argument — exposing flaws in her draft for her to address. She received feedback from colleagues and renowned academics, which helped her improve her paper in terms of structure, theory, and bibliography. She also received suggestions on how and where to submit her manuscript for a peer-review evaluation. As a result, she submitted the paper to an academic journal.