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Joshua R. Deckman

Who We Are

Who We Are

Joshua R. Deckman

Fall 2017 Dissertation Fellow

Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese

The College of the Liberal Arts

48 Burrowes, Cubicle 4
University Park , PA 16802


Josh is currently a doctoral candidate (ABD) in Latin American literature and culture. He received his B.A. in Spanish and Education from Washington & Jefferson College and a certificate from the Universidad de Guanajuato in Mexico. He earned his M.A. in Hispanic Literature from Penn State in 2015 and a doctoral minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in 2016. His research departs from a consideration of those voices that are often systematically devalued, marginalized, and forgotten. His work brings together Women of Color and Decolonial Feminisms, Afro-Latinx/diasporic religious practices, and queer of color critiques in order to develop alternative methodologies and tools for the (re)making of social relations, histories, intimacies, value systems, and resistance possibilities. His dissertation project, currently titled “The Poetics and Politics of Pain: Decolonial Spirituality in the Afro-Caribbean and Its Diasporas,” traces the formation of a decolonial spiritual epistemology that emerges from the contemporary literary and cultural productions of Afro-descendant women in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, and their diasporas in the United States.

Parts of this project have been presented with the Haiti/Dominican Republic Section Panel at the 2017 conference of the Latin American Studies Association in Lima, Peru. During his Fellowship semester, he will also be presenting on Afro-descendant challenges to coloniality and Black lesbian feminist activism in the artistic production of Afro-Cuban Hip Hop group Las Krudas CUBENSI at the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora in Seville, Spain.

Research Interests: Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Literature and Culture; African Diaspora Studies and Afro-Latinx Studies; Women of Color Feminisms; Affect Theory; Decolonial Thought

Josh has recently accepted a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor of Spanish and Latino Studies at Marywood University.