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Claudia Milian

Professor of Romance Studies
Romance Studies
Box 90257, Durham, NC 27708-0257
217C Language Ctr, Box 90257, Durham, NC 27708


Claudia Milian, a scholar of Latino/a Studies, works in comparative and interdisciplinary studies and forges intersections among the vast intellectual traditions of Latina/o Studies, Latin American Studies, African American Studies, southern studies, and hemispheric American Studies. Her areas of inquiry push for broader geographies, flows, circulations, and epistemologies wherein a global Latino/a Studies has an active and equal voice in academic disciplines. Milian’s mélange of scholarly interests lie in cultural studies; critical race theory; the genomic era; citizenship; decoloniality; climate change and environmental degradation; the global south; twentieth-century U.S., Latin American, Latino/a, and African American literature; and translation studies.

She is the author of Latining America: Black-Brown Passages and the Coloring of Latino/a Studies (University of Georgia Press, 2013), a monograph that charts a different but coeval path for how cultural signifiers for the U.S. Latino or Latina have been accessed by an unexpected circle of Latin participants: U.S. African Americans, brown-dark brown Latinos and Latinas, and “problematic” subgroups like Central Americans. Milian’s analysis is a reevaluation of the tools of Latinoness and Latinaness, exploring not who but what constitutes the Latino and Latina subject. Latining America demonstrates that blacks and browns bleed into each other’s color lines, delving into the cultural connections and global crossing color lines of blackness, brownness, and dark brownness.

Milian is actively at work on her second book project, titled Deracination Americana, which turns to the Latin suffix “-ana” to frame a collection of “things” associated with a continental America. In it, she considers the creation and dissemination of global Latino/a cultures with particular attention to the contrasts in how they are localized and intellectually incorporated in the global south. Deracination Americana examines the various locations of Latinos and Latinas outside the United States, drawing from literary production, blogs, popular print culture, and other reflections on the experience of being––and navigating––iterations of Latinoness across geographies and media. This study is preoccupied with Latinoness and Latinaness as forms of deracination that bring about distinct articulations of a subject that are not bound to nation but are linked by different patterns of emergence, national detachments, varying degrees of “homelessness,” new socially and politically constructed families, and DNA testing and the formation of an international “Latino” genetic ethnicity.

Milian serves as an Associate Editor at Cultural Dynamics, and is the co-editor of two special journal issues: the Fall 2012 edition of The Global South on “Interoceanic Diasporas and The Panama Canal’s Centennial” and the Summer 2013 volume of Latino Studies on “U.S. Central Americans: Representations, Agency, and Communities.” Her writings have appeared in A Companion to African American Studies; The Latin American Fashion Reader; A Companion to Racial and Ethnic Studies; LASA Forum; The C. L. R. James Journal: A Publication of the Caribbean Philosophical Association; Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies; Studies in Latin American Popular Culture; Nepantla: Views from South; and among other publications, Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Professor of Romance Studies · 2020 - Present Romance Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Education, Training & Certifications

Brown University · 2001 Ph.D.
Hampshire College · 1994 B.A.