Claritza Maldonado

MA'19American Studies PhD Student
[email protected]

I am a poet, creative writer, and researcher from Chicago with roots in Puerto Rico. I hold a BA in Linguistics with a minor in Latina/o Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As a poet, I have learned how research can exist and span spaces like stages. This is when I began understanding research as public humanities work. Through public art, media, performance, and poetry, my research explores how (Afro)Latina/x/o identity and community inform one another and how they are represented, with a focus on regional [Puerto] Rican identities tracing from the 1960s to the present. Community and public are at the center of my work, therefore, I am excited to continue to learn and implement to have such knowledge live in public and accessible spaces/ways for communities of color. I spent the past months as a James Lollar Hagan Intern at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, followed by being a Graduate and Professional Development Intern at the Smithsonian Latino Center, which further developed my interest and knowledge in curating. I am particularly interested in ways of transforming the traditional museum space, along with looking at public humanities beyond the museum, such as performance, public murals, cultural centers, art/cultural pop-ups, and the digital world.