Foreign Language Department Faculty

Joshua Deckman, Ph.D.

Full Time Faculty
Assistant Professor

Education: Ph.D., Latin American Literatures and Latinx Studies, the Pennsylvania State University
M.A., Hispanic Literatures and Cultures, the Pennsylvania State University
B.A., Spanish and Education, Washington & Jefferson College

Specialization: Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Literatures and Cultures; African Diaspora and Afro-Latinx Studies; Women of Color Feminisms; Affect Theory; Decolonial Thought

Joshua Deckman specializes in 20th to 21st –century Afro-Caribbean and Latinx literatures and cultural studies in a hemispheric context through the lens of racial, sexual, and gender politics, as well as the religious practices of the African diaspora. His current book project, tentatively titled Walking with the Dead: Feminist Spiritualities in the Afro-Caribbean and Its Diasporas analyzes how afro-descendent women from various contexts (Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and these communities in New York) employ religious figures and practices from Vodou, Santería, and Espiritismo in order to advocate for a radical politics of decolonial love, intimacy, and remembrance. The book aims to complicate contemporary debates surrounding Black/Latinx experiences within a critical framework of decolonial thought, women of color feminisms, politicized emotional structures, and anti-imperial politics.

Joshua is also collaborating with several colleagues as co-editor of the volume Oxalá: Afro-Latinx Futures, Imaginings, and Engagements. The goal of this volume is to compile a series of works that explore the many experiences, practices, politics, and popular imaginations of Afro-Latinidades throughout the hemispheric Americas.

In addition to elementary, intermediate, and advanced Spanish language courses, he also teaches Latinx Studies and literature and cultural survey courses. He hopes to develop new courses focused on border studies, afro-Caribbean voices in hip-hop and beyond, radical feminist figures in Latinx comics, Latinx media studies and digital culture, and queer of color literature. Joshua has led several study abroad trips to Puebla, Mexico and occasionally writes reviews for Voces del Caribe, a digital archive of the Caribbean.


Peer-Reviewed Articles
“Killing Joy: The Racial Politics of Happiness and Love in The Farming of Bones,” Chiricú Journal: Latina/o Literatures, Arts, and Cultures (Forthcoming 2019).

“Sueños utópicos: Espacios, geografías y comunidades al margen de la sociedad española en El mapa de la espera,” Romance Notes 57.3 (2017).

“El nié: Inhabiting Love, Bliss, and Joy; a conversation with Josefina Báez,” Small Axe 29.3 (2018).

Book Reviews
“Latinx Literature Unbound: Undoing Ethnic Expectation. By Ralph Edward Rodriguez. New York: Fordham University Press, 2018. 181pp. $30.00.” Comparative Literature Studies (Forthcoming 2019).

“Lorgia García-Peña. The Borders of Dominicanidad: Race, Nation, and Archives of Contradiction. Duke UP, Durham, 2016 (274 Pp.). Voces del Caribe 9.1 (2017): 456-59.

“Raúl Rosales Herrera. Fictional First-Person Discourses in Cuban Diaspora Novels: The Author Within and Beyond Textual Boundaries. Edwin Mellen Press, New York, 2012 (284 Pp.).” Voces del Caribe 5.1 (2013): 336-39.