This essay considers an alternative form of reconciliation with my abuelita who passed away unexpectedly from a stroke in 2021. Beginning with her career as a professional singer refuting gender roles in Spain, I consider the trajectory of her life that led to her adulthood as a conservative Jehovah’s Witness. Through speculative memory work and queer futurity, this essay queers abuelita in a way that reimagines her life as a musician, performer, and grandmother. I offer this as an example of how queer individuals negotiate and address the contradictions of reconciliation and queerness on their own terms.
Queering Abuelita: Reconciling Loss Through the Speculative
Daniel McCarthy (they/them) is a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, as well as a Visiting Lecturer for the Institute of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Georgia State University. Their interdisciplinary research and teaching draws upon their experiences as both a classically trained musician and a scholar of queer and feminist thought. Daniel’s versatile music career includes collaborations with members of the Borromeo, Emerson, Escher, and Miró quartets, symphonic work as an orchestral mentee with the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa, Canada), and concerts in venues such as the Embassy of Austria, the Residences of the Ambassadors to Romania and Portugal, the White House. and Theresienstadt.
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Daniel McCarthy; Queering Abuelita: Reconciling Loss Through the Speculative. Departures in Critical Qualitative Research 1 December 2022; 11 (4): 27–41. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/dcqr.2022.11.4.27
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