Season Two, Episode Four

Love, Return, and Resistance:
Dr. Cristina Rhodes on Día de los Muertos and
Latinx Activism

Transcript coming soon!

For the first time, we’re excited to welcome a guest to The Children’s Table! In this episode, we talk to Dr. Cristina Rhodes, an Assistant Professor of English at Shippensburg University, where she teaches courses on culturally diverse literatures of the United States, ethnic literature, and academic writing. Her research centers Latinx childhoods and how they are represented in literature, film, television, and other media.

Hear Dr. Rhodes on the diversity of Día de los Muertos (and how kids’ media gets it wrong, and gets it right), the relationship between futurity for Latinx youth and bodily transformation, the compelling story of 17-year-old Latinx activist Carmelita Torres, and the irrepressible spirit of current young Latina activists – and get some reading recommendations along the way. 

Follow Dr. Rhodes on Twitter @_crisRhodes, and find her research on the open-access sources Research on Diversity in Youth Literature and Latinxs in Kid Lit. See the reading list for more of Dr. Rhodes’s scholarship and links to some of the titles she mentions.

reading list

Anzaldúa, Gloria. Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. Fourth edition, Aunt Lute Books, 2012. 

Coco. Directed by Lee Unkrich, screen play by Adrian Molina and Matthew Aldrich, performances by Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Renée Victor, Anna Ofelia Murguía, and Edward James Olmos, Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios, 2017. 

Gonzalez, Eric. Rosita y Conchita. Illustrated by Erich Haeger. Scholastic, 2010. 

McLemore, Anna-Marie. The Mirror Season. Feiwel & Friends, 2021. 

McLemore, Anna-Marie. When the Moon Was Ours. Wednesday Books, 2021. 

Paz, Octavio. The Labyrinth of Solitude and Other Stories. Grove Press, 1994. 

Rhodes, Cristina. “Carmelita Torres and Bodies of Resistance: Reclaiming Young Latinas’ Bodies within Hegemonic Discourse.” Latino Studies, 2021. 

––––––––. “Corporeal, Phenomenological, and Activist Transformations in Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Esperanza Rising.” Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, vol. 46, no. 1, 2021, pp. 41–56. 

––––––––. “Imagining the Future: The (Im)Possibilities of Queerness in Two Latinx Speculative Young Adult Novels.” Label Me Latino/a, vol. 11, special issue, 2021, pp. 1–10.  

––––––––. “It’s Not So Scary! The Day of the Dead and Children’s Media.” Latinxs in Kid Lit, 28 October 2015.    

––––––––. “Processes of Transformation: Theorizing Activism and Change through Gloria Anzaldúa’s Picture Books.” Children’s Literature in Education, 2020. 

Thomas, Aiden. Cemetery Boys. Swoon Reads, 2020.

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