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Ramón Rivera-Servera
Department Chair; Professor
Performance Studies

Ramón Rivera-Servera

Ramón H. Rivera-Servera’s research focuses on 20th and 21st Century performance in North America and the Caribbean with special emphasis on the ways categories of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality are negotiated across national borders through migratory circuits of circulation and exchange. His work documents a wide array of performance practices ranging from theatre and concert dance to social dance, popular music, fashion, and speech.

His teaching ranges from seminar courses on Latina/o and queer performance, and sound, movement, and visual cultural studies to workshop courses on social art practices, ethnographic research methods, and performance art.

He is author of Performing Queer Latinidad: Dance, Sexuality, Politics (University of Michigan Press, 2012), a study of the role performance played in the development of Latina/o queer publics in the United States from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s.

He is currently completing a book manuscript, Reggaetón’s Queer Turn: Sexuality, Abstraction, and Contemporary Art in the Circum-Caribbean, which pursues feminist and queer uptakes of the popular music and dance cultures of reggaetón in circum-Caribbean contemporary art to theorize the role of black aesthetics in the sexual cultural politics of the Spanish speaking Caribbean and its diaspora. He is also conducting fieldwork and archival research towards two other projects: Exhibiting Performance: Race, Museum Cultures, and the Live Event, which looks at the ways race has been collected and exhibited in North America and the Caribbean since the mid-1990s and Choreographing the Latina/o Post-Modern: Puerto Rican Moves in the New York Dance Avant-Garde, a cultural history of Puerto Rican participation in the New York City experimental dance scene since the 1980s.


PhDTheater, University of Texas-Austin (emphasis in performance as public practice). Graduate Portfolio in Mexican-American Studies
MATheatre Studies, City University of New York
BAArt History, University of Rochester (focus on contemporary visual cultural studies)

Selected Publications

Johnson, E. Patrick and Ramón H. Rivera-Servera, editors, Blacktino Queer Performance (Duke University Press, 2016).

Johnson, E. Patrick and Ramón H. Rivera-Servera, editors, solo/black/woman: scripts, essays, and interviews (Northwestern University Press, 2013).

Henry Godinez and Rivera-Severa, Ramón H., editors, Festival Latino: Six Plays from the Goodman Theatre Festival (Northwestern University Press, 2013).

Rivera-Servera, Ramón H. and Harvey Young, editors, Performance in the Borderlands (Palgrave-Macmillan, Performance Interventions Series, 2011).

Performing Queer Latinidad: Dance, Sexuality, Politics (University of Michigan Press, 2012), an exploration of the relationships between performance and politics among Latina/o queer communities in the U.S.

  • 2013 Best Book Award from the Latino Studies Section of the Latin American Studies Association.
  • 2013 Best Book Award, LGBT Studies, Lambda Literary Foundation.
  • 2013 Outstanding Publication Award, Congress on Research in Dance
  • 2012 Special Citation, de la Torre Bueno Book Prize in Dance Studies, Society of Dance History Scholars.

Service and Associations

  • Board of Directors, National Association of Latino Arts and Culture
  • Nominations Committee, American Studies Association


  • PERF_ST 330-0 Topics: Blacktino Queer Performance
  • PERF_ST 330-0 Topics: Sounding America
  • PERF_ST 335-0 Social Art Tactics
  • PERF_ST 515-0 Seminar: Dance Ethnography
  • PERF_ST 515-0 Seminar: Queer Nightlife
  • PERF_ST 515-0 Seminar: Improvisation and/in Performance