By Mary Giles

Susana Vargas Cervantes joins the Faculty of Public Affairs from Columbia University, where she was a Fulbright Fellow at the Institute of Latin American Studies. Before moving to New York, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City. Cervantes completed her MA and PhD in art history and communication studies at McGill University.

This year, Cervantes is teaching undergraduate courses in media and communication in both global and regional contexts, as well as in media, race and ethnicity. Her research investigates the cultures and methodologies that bridge Latin America and Anglo North America, connecting gender, sexuality, class and skin tonalities through theories of performative gender and sex, incorporating transnational feminisms, critical race theories, postcolonial theories, as well as queer and trans theories in relation to media and visual culture.

In 2019, Cervantes concluded a ten-year study of a serial killer, masculinity and victimhood. The Little Old Lady Killer: the Sensationalized Crimes of Mexico’s First Female Serial Killer (NYU Press) follows the story of Juana Barraza Samperio, a female professional wrestler known as la Dama del Silencio (the Lady of Silence). Samperio was sentenced to 759 years in prison for the murders of forty elderly women over a three-year period in Mexico. Cervantes says the infamous Mataviejitas (the little old lady killer) “disrupted traditional narratives about gender, criminality and victimhood in the popular and criminological imagination.”

In her spare time, Cervantes loves dancing and reading biographies.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 in
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