Danielle Roper

Neubauer Family Assistant Professor in Latin American Literature; HLBS Undergraduate Adviser
Classics 120
Office Hours: Monday/Wednesday 1:30-2:30 p.m. (in-person)
PhD, New York University

Danielle Roper is the Neubauer Family Assistant Professor in the Department of Romance Languages and Literature. She holds a Ph.D in Spanish and Portuguese (2015) and an M.A in Performance Studies (2009) from New York University. She specializes in contemporary racial and queer performance, racial formation, feminist activism, and visual culture in the Hemispheric Americas. Her work on Caribbean feminism, mestizaje, queer art, and racial impersonation has appeared in Latin American Research Review, SmallAxe, GLQ (forthcoming) and elsewhere. Roper is the curator of the virtual exhibition "Visualizing/Performing Blackness in the Afterlives of Slavery: A Caribbean Archive"

In her book manuscript, tentatively titled Hemispheric Blackface: Impersonation and Racial Formation in the Americas, she develops the concept of hemispheric blackface to name a network of impersonation in the Americas and to uncover the function of blackface performance in societies organized around discourses of racial democracy and creole nationalism. The book is a multi-sited study linking blackface performances in the Peruvian Andes, Colombia, Jamaica, and (Miami), U.S.A. The book examines a blackface performance at an Andean fiesta in Peru, a blackface visual art exhibit by an Afro-Colombian female artist, a skin-bleaching cartoon in Jamaica, and a blackface television character on television in Miami. Through the creation of a parodic archive, the book decenters U.S blackface minstrelsy as paradigmatic of a global form, it challenges discourses of “innocent amusement,” and considers the role of parodic performance in societies organized around discourses of mestizaje and racelessness.

Roper has taught graduate and undergraduate courses on U.S imperialism and cultural practice, theatre, performance, constructs of afro-latinidad, and feminist theory in Latin America and the Caribbean. She is the director of the series “Conversations in Hemispheric Performance” and a co-organizer of the working group for Slavery and Visual Culture at the University of Chicago.  Roper appears as a pundit on current affairs in Latin America on local radio and television shows across the Americas.  She was also the Thomas J. Watson fellow in 2006. Roper is from Kingston, Jamaica.

Recent Courses in RLL
  • SPAN 22003 Introducción a las literaturas hispánicas: textos hispanoamericanos del modernismo al presente (Winter 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021)
  • SPAN 22005 Latin American Literatures and Cultures: 20th and 21st Centuries (Spring 2023, Winter 2024)
  • SPAN 25660/35660 US Imperialism and Cultural Practice in Latin America (Spring 2020)
  • SPAN 29117/39117 Theater and Performance in Latin America (Winter 2017, Spring 2018, Winter 2019, Autumn 2020, Autumn 2023)
  • SPAN 29700 Readings in Special Topics (Spring 2024)
  • SPAN 33950 Latin American Women Perform (Winter 2020)
  • SPAN 35500 New Directions in Afro-Latin Performance (Autumn 2018, Spring 2021, Winter 2024)
Affiliated Departments and Centers: Center for Latin American Studies, Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, Committee on Theater and Performance Studies