Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2013

Department 1



The paper explores the relationship between gender, sexuality, and the construction of the space of the city in Puerto Rican short stories set in beauty salons. I argue that, through the relationships that develop between women in the beauty salon, and through the interactions between the beauty salon and other city spaces like the street, the strip club, the church and the family house. The protagonists of stories like “Milagros, call Mercurio” and “Pilar, tus rizos” politicize the space of the beauty salon, both gendering and queering it. In this way, they challenge some of the spatial tropes associated with Puerto Rican cultural nationalist discourse, and propose axes of feminist and queer alliances and solidarity that form the basis of new models of community.


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