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The Australian National University

Dr Consuelo Martinez Reyes

PhD (University of Pennsylvania), MFA (New York University), BA (University of Puerto Rico)
Lecturer in Spanish Studies
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: 612 54677

Areas of expertise

  • Literature In Spanish And Portuguese 200514
  • Culture, Gender, Sexuality 200205
  • Film And Television 190204
  • Creative Writing (Incl. Playwriting) 190402
  • Translation And Interpretation Studies 200323

Research interests

Courses taught at the ANU:

  • SPAN 1001 (Introductory Spanish I)
  • SPAN 1002 (Introductory Spanish II) 
  • SPAN 2002 (Continuing Spanish II)
  • SPAN 2102 (CULTURA, cultura, kultura)
  • SPAN 2107/FILM 2013 (Cinema from the Spanish-Speaking World)
  • SPAN 3001 (Intermediate Spanish I)
  • SPAN 3030 (Advanced Spanish Topics in Language and Culture)
  • LANG 3001 (Literary translation)
  • LANG 6016 (Translation Project)

 Teaching on Semester 2, 2017:

  • SPAN 2002 (Continuing Spanish II)
  • SPAN 2102 (CULTURA, cultura, kultura)


Dr. Consuelo Martínez-Reyes completed her doctoral degree in Romance Languages (Spanish) at the University of Pennsylvania, and held a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College (City University of New York). Her work focuses on the representation of gender, sexuality, and national sentiments in Hispanic Caribbean cinema and literature. She has taught at the Ohio State University, the University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore College, and Princeton University. Her articles have appeared in Revista de Critica Literaria Latinoamericana, Cuaderno Internacional de Estudios Humanísticos y Literatura, the Journal of Lesbian Studies, and Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International. She is translator and editor of the forthcoming Not the Time to Stay: The Unpublished Works of Victor Fragoso (Center for Puerto Rican Studies, 2018). She is also a writer and obtained an MFA in Creative Writing in Spanish at New York University. Her short stories have appeared in CentroVoices, and Pterodáctilo among others.

Researcher's projects


Not the Time to Stay: The Unpublished Works of Victor Fragoso

          Translated and edited by Consuelo Martínez Reyes, Not the Time to Stay, is the first book in a series on the unpublished works of Puerto Rican playwright and poet Victor Fragoso. Forthcoming from the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Press in 2018, Not the Time to Stay puts in print Fragoso’s contributions to the New York City theater scene during the 1970s and 1980s. Fragoso wrote and directed plays for theater companies that played a major role in the inclusion of Latino minorities in the New York artistic environment. His works aimed to present new and controversial aesthetics of what it meant to be gay and hold nationalist sentiments towards a country marked by homophobia, to negotiate national and pan-ethnic identities, and to relate to the intimate and personal while leading a bustling city life. Victor Fragoso’s theater parts from traditional notions and icons of Puerto Ricanness in order to question and recreate cultural propaganda in tandem with the experiences of Spanish-speaking minorities in New York. The work affects national rhetorics and social discourses by blending Spanish Caribbean cultural references with American ones, while contrasting them to Latin American supra-national icons. His plays question the boundaries of plural and national identities, and the im/possibility of representing Latino culture and its diasporic experience(s) as cohesive, marketable products under the umbrella term “Latino.” The writer opens up questions of national identity versus social conditions and cultural coalitions, proposing the stage as a meeting space for the Pan-Latino community. His unique ouvre is driven by the explicit goal to break with genres through a schizophrenic style that focuses on erasing the boundaries between poetry, letters, monologues, and actions. Straddling the fronteras between one genre and the next, some of Fragoso’s plays were conceived as what we now understand as ‘performance’ in its broadest sense. In the rediscovery of his work this generation will find a visionary of societal themes, literary and theater practices.


Queer Nenas: Representing Love between Women in the Hispanic Caribbean

          Queer Nenas examines the ways in which non-heteronormative female sexualities in the Hispanic Caribbean (Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba) have belatedly expressed themselves through literature, media, and artistic performances. I demonstrate how certain environments (the home, exile) and genres (poetry, comedy) hide but also articulate what are considered sexual “deviancies” and argue that gender-queering, rather than an openly lesbian identity, functions as a transitional stage towards the representation of love between women and its inclusion in national narratives. Examining poetry, narrative, cinema, and performance, I show the diverse ways in which alternative female sexualities have found a voice in the Hispanic Caribbean in recent decades. I argue poets such as Lourdes Casal and Nemir Matos-Cintrón exemplify coded lesbianism; they invent a genealogy of Caribbean écriture feminine through the recreation of mythological mother figures. I show how narrative writers like Magali García Ramis and Sonia Rivera-Valdés instead reinvent the home environment: in exile, “home” becomes a patriotic yet simultaneously lesbian space through highly symbolic same-sex relationships with fellow countrywomen. Male performances of lesbian identities either perpetuate stereotypes – such as the fake lesbian anthology Opus Totus –or destabilize them productively, as with comedian Jorge Pabón’s character “Buchi, bien femenina.” Finally, I analyze the publication and reception of the first Dominican and Puerto Rican lesbian anthologies, to show the obstacles to establishing a public lesbian identity in the Hispanic Caribbean. My study is significant to the development of Caribbean Studies as there are few scholars who study the Hispanic Caribbean in a comparative context, and none who look at female sexuality across the islands.


Available student projects

My research interests revolve around identity and representation within the fields of literature, gender, film, and translation. I specialise in literature from the Hispanic Caribbean and that produced by Latinos (of Hispanic Caribbean descent) in the USA, but I would like to contribute to projects that extend toward a wider Pan-Caribbean, Pan-Latino, Latin American and Brazilian context as well. I would be interested in working with students on issues related to:

  •    national identities as represented in literature and film
  •    transnational cinema and their effect on national cinemas and identities
  •    Pan-Caribbean, Pan-Latino cinema, and/or Latin American identities and sexualities
  •    the representation of gendered and LGBTQII identities
  •    questions of standardizing regional dialects in translation
  •    the representation of social context and literary movements within a translated text
  •    translating cinema and TV for Spanish-speaking audiences with significant dialectical and cultural variations
  •    Brazilian literature and cinema, and their commonalities with Latin America
  •    Latinos in the United States and the production and/or rejection of a Latino identity
  •    literary representations of dictatorship
  •    cinematic representations of the 'discovery' of the New World (History on Film)

Current student projects

PhD, as Supervisor

Thomas Nulley-Valdes, Latin American Identity Discourse and Literary Representations of

Cultural Identity and Hybridity. Arts & Social Sciences.

Past student projects

MA theses, as Chair of Panel

Michelle Jellett, Detecting Plagiarism in the Translation of Literary Texts. Master in Translation.   

Jellett's thesis was approved with High Distinction.


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Updated:  18 February 2018 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers