Ruth Llana Fernández

Position title: Biruté Ciplijauskaité Dissertation Fellow (2023-2024)

Pronouns: She/they

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Spanish & Portuguese, UW–Madison

This is a headshot of a person with long brown hair, wearing a black sweater and a golden necklace, against a cobalt blue background.

Radical Alterities and Nonhuman Textualities: Critical Forms of Life in the Luso-Hispanic Literature

My dissertation examines the literary portrayal of critical forms of life by female and queer authors from the global Luso-Hispanic context of the 20th and 21st Centuries. Through the development of lyrical prose textualities in relation to sensorial mechanisms, these authors activate the disruption of the purported limits of the human, leading to the destabilization of what is a livable life as seen through an anthropocentric lens. I contend that the genre-bending nature of these works opens new pathways for human existence by embodying in textuality a nonhuman subjectivity through the lenses of migratory subjects, animal liberation, and disability justice.

Ruth Llana is a Ph.D. candidate concentrating in Latin American and Spanish Contemporary Literature with a minor in the Transdisciplinary Study of Visual Cultures. She is the author of four poetry books, Tiembla (2014), Estructuras (2015), Umbral (2017), and La primavera del saguaro (2021). She has translated Mei mei Berssenbrugge’s I Love Artists /Me encantan los artistas (2019), and Muriel Rukeyser’s US 1 (2022). In collaboration with Jesse Lee Kercheval she has translated For the Seals/Para las focas, by Uruguayan poet Juan Manuel Sánchez (2019). In 2023 she was distinguished with UW’s Lyman S.V. Judson and Ellen Mackechnie Judson Graduate Student Award in the Creative Arts for her literary trajectory. Her dissertation examines the role that nonhuman actors, migratory experiences, as well as crip and queer existence, play in the expression of sensorial textualities within the emergence of lyrical fiction in female and queer authorship from 20th Century Spain, Brazil, and Argentina. As the 2023 Biruté Ciplijauskaité Dissertation Fellow, she will complete her dissertation chapter on Spanish poet Chantal Maillard. Prior to becoming a fellow, her research has been supported by the Chancellor’s Dissertation Fellowship (2021), the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Dissertation Write-Up Award (2019), and the Tinker Nave travel grant (2018).