Manuel R. Cuellar is an Assistant Professor of Spanish and Latin American Literatures and Cultures at The George Washington University. He holds a Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Cuellar primarily focuses on Mexican literary and cultural studies with an emphasis on race, gender, and sexuality. His research engages questions of performance, especially as they concern dance, indigeneity, and negritud in Mexico, combining ethnographic fieldwork, archival research, and studies of contemporary and classical Nahuatl, Mexico’s most widely spoken and written indigenous language. Another area of related interest, reflected explicitly in his teaching, is US Latina/o/x Studies with a focus on community-engaged learning. For over 20 years, Dr. Cuellar has been a practitioner of Mexican folklórico dance, as an instructor and performer, and he is currently part of D.C.’s Corazón Folklórico Dance Company. Dr. Cuellar’s strong background in Mexican traditional dance has led him to explore dance’s role in Mexican national identity, indigeneity, and queerness. His current book project, tentatively titled "Performances of a Festive Mexico: Queer Embodiments and Dancing Histories of a Nation," studies how written, photographic, cinematographic, and choreographic renderings of a festive Mexico highlight the role that dance has played in processes of citizen formation and national belonging, from the late Porfirian regime to the immediate post-revolutionary era (1910-1940).
Dr. Cuellar is an Affiliated Faculty of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service.