A project by Susana Vargas Cervantes

Academic and logistic assistance: Mariana Flores

Social Networking: Nuria Fernández

Translation: Annia Mayerstein

Mesas de Diálogo: How did we come about?

Studies and research about gender, sex, and sexuality and their relationship with visual culture, could be divided arbitrarly in two major categories: those produced in English and in Spanish, which rarely establish a dialogue. Mesas de Diálogo tries to create an space of dialogue between these two fields of studies.

More than a separation in terms of language, this division is cultural, methodological, and political, and points to different ways of understanding the process of subjectivation.

Which are the objectives? 

Create a dialogue among different disciplines that problematizes, from a postcolonial context, the ways in which the main theories of performative gender/sex, have defined the way in which we have come to understand different process of subjectivation.

Contribute to the almost inexistent dialogue between Anglo North American and Latin American theories in similar topics from different cultural and historical contexts, therefore producing different theoretical engagements.

Construct a space for discussion and reflection of these axes, through seminars previously conducted, to establish a constructive dialogue with the authors including specific concerns and proposals by specialists and students.

We are an academic project address to a general public because we don’t believe there is a division between theory and practice. We currently are in a critical moment in which social phenomena are complex and require that we take a stance for a structural change.

We problematize and contextualize the ways in which the main theories of performative gender/sex have defined the ways I which process of subjetivation are understood from a postcolonial context.

¿What’s our methodology?

We are a feminist and queer academic project informed by trans theory, for a general public.

We understand  as described by Teresa de Lauretis (1987) the analytical and critical method of feminism to be the practice of self-consciousness. We also believe that subjectivation is determined by a gender/sex identification as of class/skin tonalities. We move away from sexual difference. For us, following  bell hooks, resistance is not based on violence, but in the inner and outer transformation of cis men, cis women, trans, intersex and gender non conforming subjects.

Queer for us in Latin America is problematized as an speech act, identity, privilege and anglicism, but we do suscribe to the notion of queer as a methodology and a transnational movement of solidarity.

As a queer methodology, we draw form Ma. Amelia Viteri, and we tried to re-signify from Latin America through interdisciplinarity the fluidity of identities, against binaries and incorporating an analysis or race and class.

We believe in a Theory of Trans Politics (Dean Spade) and focus our efforts in locating shared forms of oppression to create solidarity and a common struggle. In Ecuador, following Eli Vásquez , we try finding “simetrías subyacentes” or underlying symmetries, that is, “what unites us but not that is not so obvious” instead of segregating us in ghettos from where our limits are more identifiable.

How Mesas de Diálogo work? 

The mesas de diálogo project consists of a seminar in which, after reading the two authors in dialogue, we come up with the questions for the discussion. These questions are sent in advance to the authors in order to be ready for the dialogue between the authors and students.

Who are we?

Susana Vargas Cervantes, holds a PhD in Art History and Communications Studies. McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada and a Postdoctoral Degree  at the Institute of Aesthetic Research at the National University of Mexico, UNAM.

Mariana Flores Castillo,  is currently pursuing a PhD in Political and Social Studies, and holds a Master in Latin American Studies also at the National University of Mexico, UNAM.

Annia Mayerstein, is finishing a BA in Antropology and works for the webpage Desastre.mx

Nuria Fernández is currently pursuing an MA on discourse in the Free University in Barcelona. She also works for the newspaper  La Jornada de Oriente.

Academic Council

To achieve its objectives, Mesas de Diálogo requires constant feedback, retrospection and review. To this end, the Academic Council’s main task is to evaluate the decisions, practices and contents of this project.

Jessica Berlanga, Fundación Alumnos 47

Clara Jusidman, INCIDE Social A.C.

Fernando Mesta, Galería House of GaGa

Leticia Sabsay,  London School of Economics

Patricia Sloane, Independent Curator


Thanks to the support of:  


Thank you:

José Esparza, Fernando Mesta, Jessica Berlanga, Julien Salabelle, Irmgard Emmelhainz, Gabriela Jauregui, Michel Fidler, Susana Richter, Natalia Comel, Cuauhtémoc Medina, Cristina Paoli, Abeyamí Ortega, Ana Paula Ruiz Galindo, Mecky Reuss y Mariana Flores.