Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Elizabeth Bell, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Navita C. James, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Stacy Holman-Jones, Ph.D.

Committee Member

John McKiernan-Gonzalez, Ph.D.


Hispanic, Intercultural, Ethnicity, Race


This study is an exploration of Latina/o-White hybrid identity for constructions and negotiations of hybridity as performed in the lives of individuals and as rearticulated in discourse. These discourses are drawn from interviews with nine individuals, stories of my own life, and three published memoirs. Despite these different forms, all the selfidentified Latina/o-White hybrid individuals speak to the difficulty of imagining and enacting a hybrid identity within today’s discourse on race and ethnicity. This study articulates these difficulties as lived experience, theory, and performance come together to argue for and against hybridity as a model for contemporary identity. The project rests mainly on the theory of performativity and the theory of hybridity.

In Chapter Two, I interview nine participants. While Whiteness was consistently re-centered in their self-perceptions, this re-centering disrupts naturalness to their racial identity. Race is understood beyond the visual and into the performative. This disruption of “naturalness” allows room for a more imaginative approach to race.

In Chapter Three, I utilize the Mexican pop singer, Paulina Rubio, as a backdrop to my own theoretical and material performative embodiments of hybridity. I deconstruct the perceived hybridity of Paulina Rubio, and I theorize the lived experience of my own hybrid performativity. I demonstrate how hybrid performativity, while theoretically achievable, loses its material efficacy.

In Chapter Four, I do a close-reading of three memoirs written about and by Latina/o-White hybrid individuals. The range of hybridity, being thrust upon and being a strategy, is reproduced as a continuum across different hybridities of the Latina/oWhite hybrid individual. The continuum moves across five hybrid strategies for languaging identity: imposter, mongrel, homeless, bridge, and twin.

Chapter Five is a summary of the dissertation. This summary begins with a discussion a theatrical production. La Virgen del Tepeyac. The chapter makes the argument that the Latina/o-White hybrid individual confuses grammatical correctness, consistently placing these subjects within the subjunctive mood. The chapter rests with the conclusion that the instability of performativity, as evidenced in La Virgen del Tepeyac and the Latina/o-White hybrid individual, provides an exemplar of the multitude of possibilities in everyone’s identity.