Claudia Milian is Associate Professor of Romance Studies and Director of the Program in Latino/a Studies in the Global South.
A scholar of Latino/a Studies, Milian works in comparative and interdisciplinary studies. Her work brings the vast intellectual traditions of Latina/o Studies, Latin American Studies, African American Studies, southern studies, and hemispheric American Studies together to explore their intersections. By pushing for broader geographies, flows, circulations, and epistemologies, Milian enacts a global Latino/a Studies that plays both an active and equal voice in academic disciplines. Within this global scope, she is particularly interested in the following areas of inquiry: 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 equally significant 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 reevaluates 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. Latining America has been reviewed in Choice, Cultural Dynamics, The Journal of American Culture, The Latin American Review of Books, and Latino Studies. The conceit of the book was also discussed in Mark Anthony Neal's weekly webcast, Left of Black, and featured as "Notable Scholarship in Southern Studies" by the Southern Literary Review.
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 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 is not bound to nation but is 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.
Prior to her appointment at Duke, Milian served as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at Harverford College and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Brown University. Her professional dossier also includes work in media relations, public policy (as a Legislative Aide to former U.S. Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder [D-Col.] and Fellow with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute), and publishing. Milian currently serves on the Advisory Board of the University of Georgia Press’ The New Southern Studies Series and is an Associate Editor at Cultural Dynamics. She 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;
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.
Milian's forthcoming work will be included in Junot Díaz and the Decolonial Imagination, edited by Monica Hanna, Jennifer Harford Vargas, and José David Saldívar (Duke University Press); American Literature; The Cambridge History of Latino-American Literature, edited by John Morán González and Laura Lomas (Cambridge University Press); and The Cambridge Companion to Latina/o Literature, edited by John Morán González (Cambridge University Press).
- Recent Papers, Books and Preprints
- Milian, C, Latinos and the like: Reading mixture and deracination,
in The Cambridge Companion to Latina/o American Literature, edited by John Morán González
pp. 195-212, Cambridge University Press [doi] [abs].
- Milian, C, Central American-Americanness, Latino/a Studies, and the Global South,
Global South, vol. 5 no. 1
pp. 137-152, Indiana University Press.
- Milian, C, Locating the Ephemeral South in the Latin Americanization of LASA,
Lasa Forum, vol. 38 no. 4
- Milian, C, Playing with the Dark: Africana and Latino Literary Imaginations,
in A Companion to African-American Studies, edited by Gordon, LR; Gordon, JA
pp. 543–568-543–568, BLACKWELL PUBLISHING.
- Milian, C, Fashioning U.S. Salvadoranness: Unveiling the Faces of Christy Turlington and Rosa Lopez,
in The Latin American Fashion Reader, edited by Root, RA
pp. 263–279-263–279, Berg Publishers.
- Milian, C, New Languages, New Humanities: The "Mixed Race" Narrative and the Borderlands,
in A Companion to Racial and Ethnic Studies, edited by Goldberg, DT; Solomos, J
pp. 355–364-355–364, BLACKWELL PUBLISHING.