Trent Masiki, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies, Publishes First Book “The Afro-Latino Memoir: Race, Ethnicity, and Literary Interculturalism"

African American literature, culture, and nationalism shaped Afro-Latino identity formation more profoundly than typically imagined between the post-war and post-soul eras. This is particularly evident in Afro-Latino memoirs. Despite their literary and cultural significance, Afro-Latino memoirs have been marginalized in both Latino and African American studies. Masiki’s new book, The Afro-Latino Memoir (UNC Press 2023), remedies this problem by bringing critical attention to the understudied African American influences in Afro-Latino memoirs published after the advent of the Black Arts movement. Using interpretive strategies and historical methods from literary and cultural studies, Masiki explores why and how Afro-Latino memoir writers turned to the African American experience as a model for articulating their Afro-Latinidad. 

The Afro-Latino Memoir contributes new insights to both Latino and African American studies by examining how varying types of Black nationalism informed Afro-Latino life writing in the US. Masiki’s scholarly articles appear in the journals Latino Studies, MELUS, African American Review, and College Language Association, among others. In 2022, Masiki co-guest edited “Post-Soul Afro-Latinidades,” a special issue of The Black Scholar 52.1 and served as an AP Visiting Fellow in African American Studies for the College Board.