Jon Dell Jaramillo takes great pride in his queer bilingual mestizo Latino heritage. If there’s one word that truly defines him, it’s “survivor.” In 1992, Jon was diagnosed with AIDS and given a prognosis that he would not live past the decade. Despite facing a near-death experience in 1996, he miraculously survived without an immune system until he could begin taking the life-prolonging “drug cocktail” that has benefited millions of people.
Inspired by his incredible journey, Jon made the decision to enroll in Lane Community College, where he embarked on a path to explore his creative talents. Through his studies, he acquired the necessary skills to amplify his voice and express himself. Jon’s passion for writing led him to pen numerous poems, which he transformed into original songs. Additionally, he has authored several short stories and is currently engrossed in writing his first novel. In the realm of film, he has produced original short films, documentaries, and contributed as an editor and sound designer in various projects.
Jon proudly considers himself a non-traditional student, having pursued his bachelor’s degree at the age of 50 and completing his PhD at 61. He embraces his multifaceted identities and capacities. As the author of the Queering Translation Manifesto and a skilled translator of numerous Spanish-to-English books, Jon’s expertise in Romance Languages and Literatures, with a specialization in Literary Translation from the University of Oregon, shines through. His research focuses on queer articulations of American identity and challenges the colonial structures of power, gender, and sexuality. Jon seeks to theorize a transformative enlightenment of human consciousness, encompassing the formation of identity, kinship, and community, and he critically examines how bodies and kinship can be sites of both biopolitical control and human agency.
In his groundbreaking dissertation titled “Viral Bodies: AIDS and Other Contagions in Latin American Life Narratives,” Jon delves into the cultural representations of AIDS in 1990s Latin America. His multidisciplinary work pioneers the intersection of various fields of knowledge, such as history, politics, religion, gender and sexuality studies, transfeminist discourse, contagion theory, virality, and exile studies. By examining these narratives, Jon exposes the imposed silences surrounding the disease and explores themes of insularity, anonymity, and decomposing bodies, ultimately challenging national, transnational, and religious discourses. His research sheds light on practices of difference, including transvestism, sadomasochism, and spiritual fetishism, contributing to a reimagining of homosexual history, and envisioning a queer future with utopian imaginings of belonging, kinship, and community formation.
Beyond his scholarly pursuits, Jon Jaramillo exemplifies compassion and possesses a genuine passion for teaching and nurturing critical thinking skills in others. He takes great joy in being an active member of the UO’s queer community and eagerly anticipates empowering a new generation to continue the fight for liberation within the international LGBTQIA community. Jon firmly believes in the unity of marginalized individuals and groups, advocating for the affirmation of human rights for everyone.
2018 – The Queering Translation Manifesto https://queertranslationcollective.org/manifesto/
2019 – “Entrevista con Pablo Pérez autor de Un año sin amor”, Periphērica
, November, under review.
2020 – The Neurosurgeon
by Michel Estrada, Translation by Jon Jaramillo, Floricanto Press, October 2020