Thanks for stopping by! I am an Assistant Professor of Latinx Studies in the Department of English at Florida Atlantic University and hold a Ph.D. in English from the University of Florida. I also hold an M.A.in Women’s Studies from UF’s Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research and a Graduate Certificate from UF’s Center for Latin American Studies. My research and teaching interests span the fields of Hemispheric American Studies (especially Afro-Latinx, Chicanx, Latin/x American, and African-American Literatures and Cultures), Science and Technology Studies (especially Feminist Science Studies), Science Fiction and Utopian Studies, and Critical (Mixed) Race and Ethnic Studies. My scholarship has been supported by various competitively awarded fellowships including the Florida Education Fund’s McKnight Doctoral Fellowship, the University of Texas at Austin’s Gloria E. Anzaldúa Summer Research Fellowship, and Penn State Abington’s Diversity Pre-Doctoral Fellowship.

Given the interdisciplinarity of my research, I have presented my work at various national and international conferences hosted by the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts, the Modern Language Association, the Latina/o Studies Association, the Latin American Studies Association, and the National Women’s Studies Association, among others. Currently, I am at work on two distinct yet interrelated book manuscripts: Latinx DNA: Race, Latinidad, and the Gene(ome) and Stories of the Flesh: On Epigenetics and Racialized Embodiment in African American and Latinx Science-Fictions. Broadly, these book projects explore how the cultural aspects of science and technology are co-constituted with notions of race, gender, and sexuality, past and present. You can find samples of my scholarly writing in edited collections such as Race and Utopian Desire in American Literature and Society and in Human Contradictions in Octavia Butler’s Work (Palgrave). You can also find samples of my editorial work in Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture Pedagogy, the flagship journal of the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association.

Aside from my scholarly and teaching endeavors, I have long been invested in developing and leading equity, inclusion, and justice initiatives in higher education. Informed by my experiences navigating predominantly white institutions as a first-generation Latina scholar, I founded and led PODEMOS, a two-semester academic success, career readiness, and mentorship initiative for first-year Latinx students at the University of Florida. The program has, to date, served over two-hundred students. Awarded to “scholars who best exemplify [McQuown’s] values, achievements and commitment to social issues,” my work with PODEMOS has previously been recognized by UF’s College of Liberal Arts Sciences’ O. Ruth McQuown Graduate Scholarship. While at Penn State Abington, I continued my involvement in DEI initiatives by serving as a member of the university’s planning committee for the development of a commonwealth-wide Latina/o/x Studies online minor and as a mentor for the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’s “I Am First” program.

Blog Posts


    Work in Progress:

    Book Projects

    • Latinx DNA: Race, Latinidad, and the Gene(ome)

    • Stories of the Flesh: On Epigenetics and Racialized Embodiment in African American and Latinx Science-Fictions


    • “Afro-Indigenous Eves, ‘Dominican DNA,’ and Science-Fictions in Raquel Cepeda’s Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina.” (16,000 words; revising for submission)

    • “On Latinidad, Digital Genome Reveals, and Genetic Nostalgia.” (8000 words; revising for submission)

    Upcoming Talks and Conferences

    “Spiritualized Genetics and Speculative Genealogies in Raquel Cepeda’s Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina.” Latin American Studies Association (LASA) International Congress. Virtual May 5-8, 2022


    • American Studies Association (ASA)

    • Critical Mixed-Race Studies Association (CMRSA)

    • International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA)

    • Latin American Studies Association (LASA)

    • Latina/o Studies Association (LSA)

    • Modern Language Association (MLA)

    • Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA)

    Karina A. Vado

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