The Center welcomes Jesse Alemán, Professor of English at the University of New Mexico, whose address, “Loreta Janeta Velazquez’s Civil War as a Cuban Woman and a Confederate Soldier,” will focus on a woman who masqueraded as Harry J. Buford, enlisted in the Confederate Army, and fought in several Civil War battles before her gender was discovered. Velazquez later published a memoir titled The Woman in Battle (1876), which recounts her cross-dressing military adventures. Professor Alemán will discuss how this narrative gives expression to an “internal civil war” between Velazquez’s sexual, gendered, cultural, linguistic, and religious identities.
Jesse Alemán has authored numerous articles in scholarly journals and edited collections, including American Literary History, The Oxford Handbook to Nineteenth-Century American Literature, and Hemispheric American Studies. He edited a reprinted version of The Woman in Battle (2003) and co-edited Empire and the Literature of Sensation (2007). Alemán has received awards for teaching excellence from both the University of New Mexico and Middlebury College, where he serves as a summer faculty member at the Bread Loaf School of English. He is currently at work on “Wars of Rebellion,” which considers Hispanic writings about the U.S. Civil War in the context of related wars in Cuba and Mexico.