Maria Elena Cepeda

María Elena Cepeda

Professor of Latina/o Studies

Hollander Hall Rm 109

Fall 2021 

Office hours:  Remotely by appointment.

Williams students: Please make an appointment with me over email to meet with me via Zoom or phone.  



B.A. Kenyon College
M.A. University of Michigan
Ph.D. University of Michigan

Areas of Expertise

Latina/o/x Media and Popular Culture (intersectional approaches to popular music; music video; social media; style politics)

U.S. Colombian Studies

Gender Studies

Language Politics



Scholarship/Creative Work


Never a Local: Migration, Gender, Madness  (in progress)

Co-editor (withLina Rincón, Johana Londoño, and Jennifer Harford Vargas), “Reimagining US Colombianidades: Transnational subjectivities, cultural expressions, and political contestations”(special issue of Latino Studies, 8.3, September 2020)

Co-editor (with Dolores Inés Casillas), The Routledge Companion to Latina/o Media (New York: Routledge, 2017)

Musical ImagiNation: U.S.-Colombian Identity and the Latin Music Boom
(New York: New York University Press, 2010)
Co-editor (with Carlos Alamo-Pastrana), “Popular Culture and Youth Latinidades: (Re)Constructing Community, from the Inside and Out,”(special issue of Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, 16.5, September 2009)
Musical Migrations: Transnationalism and Cultural Hybridity in Latin(o) America (with Cándida F. Jáquez and Frances R. Aparicio, eds.; St. Martin’s Press, 2003)


“Mentorship, Critical Authoethnography and the Practices of Self-Reflexivity: Investing in an Academy that Does Not Yet Exist” (Communication, Culture and Critique, in press)

“Thrice Unseen, Forever on Borrowed Time: Latina Feminist Reflections on Mental Disability and the Neoliberal Academy” (South Atlantic Quarterly 120:2, 301-320, 2021)

“Reimagining US Colombianidades: Transnational Subjectivities, Cultural Expressions, and Political Contestations” (with Lina Rincón, Johana Londoño, and Jennifer Harford Vargas (Latino Studies 8.3, 301-325, 2020)

“Latina Feminist Moments of Recognition: Contesting the Boundaries of Gendered Colombianidad in Bomba Estéreo’s “Soy yo'” (Latino Studies, 8.3, 326-342, 2020)

“Putting a “Good Face on the Nation”: Beauty, Memes and the Gendered Rebranding of Global Colombianidad” (WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, 46.1-2, 121-138 (Spring-Summer 2018))

“Beyond ‘Filling in the the Gap’: Latina/o Feminist Media Studies and the Politics of Citation,” Feminist Media Studies, 16.2, 344-360 (April 2016)
“Media and the Musical ImagiNation: Contradictory Discourses of Belonging in ‘Nuestro Himno’ and ‘Reggaetón Latino,’” Identities:  Global Studies in Culture and Power, 16.5, 548-572 (September-October 2009)
“When Latina hips make/mark history: Music video in the “new” American
Studies,” Women and Performance: a journal of feminist theory, 18.3, 235-252 (November 2008)
“Shakira as the Idealized, Transnational Citizen: A Case Study of Colombianidad in Transition,” Latino Studies, 1.2, 210-232 (2003)
“Columbus Effects”: The Politics of Crossover and Chronology within the Latin(o) Music “Boom,” Discourse, 23.1, 242-267 (Winter 2001)
“Mucho loco for Ricky Martin, or: The Politics of Chronology, Crossover and Language within the Latin(o) Music ‘Boom,’” Popular Music and Society, 24.3, 55-71(Fall 2000)
“El ‘Beloved Spic’ que no habla English Only: oposición y resistencia en la poesía de Martín Espada, Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos, XXIV. 3, 517-529 (Spring 2000)


“‘A Cartel of Love’: Medellín, Pablo Escobar, and the Global Scripts of Colombianidad” Critical Dialogues in Latinx Studies (Ana Yolanda Ramos-Zayas and Mérida M. Rúa, eds.: New York University Press, 2021)
“Music,” Keywords for Latina/o Studies (Lawrence LaFountain-Stokes, Deborah R. Vargas, and Nancy R. Mirabal, eds.; New York University Press, 2017)
“An Indecent Proposal: Latino Masculinity and the Audience in Latina/o Music Video” (co-author, Alejandra Rosales), The Routledge Companion to Latina/o Media (New York: Routledge, 2017)
 “Marketing, Performing, and Interpreting Multiple Latinidades: Los Tigres del Norte and Calle 13’s ‘América,’” Contemporary Latina/o Media:  Production, Circulation, Politics, 303-321(Arlene Dávila and Yeidy Rivero, eds.; New York University Press, 2014)
 “Singing the ‘Star-Spanglish Banner’”:  The Politics and Pathologization of Bilingualism in U.S. Popular Media,” Beyond el Barrio: Everyday Life in Latina/o America, 27-43 (Gina M. Pérez, Frank Guridy, and Adrian Burgos, Jr., eds.; New York University Press, 2010)
“Survival Aesthetics: U.S. Latinas and the Negotiation of Popular Media,” Latina/o Communication Studies Today, 237-256 (Angharad N. Valdivia, ed.; Peter Lang, 2008)
“Mirando las Estrellas: La Joven Latina en Estados Unidos,” Revista Javeriana, 711, Pontificia Universidad Javieriana, Bogotá, Colombia (January/ February 2005)
 “Miami: From ‘Instant City’ to Global Music Capital,” FORUM/Magazine of the Florida Humanities Council, 32-34 (Winter 2004)
“Mucho loco for Ricky Martin, or: The Politics of Chronology, Crossover and Language within the Latin(o) Music ‘Boom,’” Global Pop, Local Talk, 113-129(Michael T. Carroll and Harris Berger, eds.; University of Mississippi Press, 2003)


“The Transnational Restructuring of Communication and Consumption Practices: Latinos in the Urban Settings of Global Cities,” by Jéssica Retis, in The Routledge Handbook of Latina/o Media (New York: Routledge, 2017)

 “Rock ‘n’ Roll in Peru’s Popular Quarters: Cultural Identity, Hybridity, and Transculturation,” by Luis A. Ramos-García, in Musical Migrations, 199-206 (St. Martin’s Press, 2003)
“La danza de las tijeras in the work of José María Arguedas: The Construction of Indigenous Quechua Identity,” by Juan Ulises Zevallos-Aguilar, in Musical Migrations, 131-146 (St. Martin’s Press, 2003)
“Rendering the Invisible, Visible and the Visible, Invisible: The Colonizing Function of Bailey K. Ashford’s Anti-anemia Campaigns,” by Fernando Feliú, in Foucault in Latin America: Appropriations and Deployments of Discursive Analysis, 153-166 (Benigno L. Trigo, ed.; Routledge, 2002)