Antonia Castañeda Prize Winner

Valdes, Leo. “In the Shadow of the Health-Care City: Historicizing Trans Latinx Immigrant Experiences during the Coronavirus Pandemic.” US Latina & Latino Oral History Journal, vol. 5, 2021, pp. 32-65.

Leo Valdes is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at Rutgers University. Their research spans carceral state history, trans studies, and labor history with a focus on the United States but with an attunement to international dynamics, particularly in the realm of migration and diaspora. An oral history practitioner and scholar-activist, their research is shaped by ongoing conversations and political projects in trans of color communities. Their article “In the Shadow of the Health-care City: Historicizing Trans Latinx Immigrant Experiences during the Coronavirus Pandemic” illustrates an approach to trans history that combines materialist analysis with trans/queer theory and is grounded in the knowledge trans people produce from their social location. Likewise, their dissertation merges disparate scholarly fields to examine the historical evolution of the Black and Brown trans past. Based in the New York metropolitan region and moving away from biomedical themes towards class and race, their dissertation offers a historical account and explanation for the emergence of a distinct trans politics inclusive of radical Black, anticolonial, and prison abolitionist traditions. Leo (also known as Lili), who is proudly trans and Latinx, among other identities, has published an article and reviews in the U.S. Latina and Latino Oral History Journal, The Metropole, and New Jersey Studies

Spring 2022, No. 47 No. 1

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