Octavio (Tavi) Gonzalez
Curriculum Vitae


(781) 283-2518
B.A., Swarthmore College; M.A., Pennsylvania State University; M.A., Ph.D., Rutgers University

Octavio R. González
Assistant Professor of English

I specialize in queer literary and cultural studies, transatlantic modernism, U.S. and Anglophone literature of the long twentieth century, and American popular culture.

My research focuses on contemporary and Modernist periods of mostly British literature, with a transatlantic bent. I also have a deep interest in the Harlem Renaissance. My work on queer studies has to date focused on the politics of representation of HIV/AIDS and queer subcultures of sexual risk. Recently, I published an essay entitled "Isherwood's Impersonality," on the queer ethos of asceticism and impersonality in the career and writings of Christopher Isherwood. My book-length project includes this material, and is tentatively titled "Misfit Minorities: Resisting Uplift in Twentieth-Century Fiction." It looks at literary modernist precursors to the contemporary politics of identity. Finally, my love of writing and poetry continues, and I am working on a second book project, currently in its earliest stages. My first poetry collection, "The Book of Ours," came out in 2009 from Momotombo Press.

My teaching focuses on varieties of queer world-making, British and American Modernism, and countercultural identity—including outcasts, underdogs, malcontents, and decadents. I have taught classes on "Misfit Modernism," on contemporary Queer Culture ("The Gay 1990s"), on American popular culture ("The Cult of the Antihero"), and am developing courses on Queer Modernism, HIV/AIDS literature, and a genealogy of modern to contemporary gay literary fiction. I am interested in incorporating media consumption, analysis, and production (zines, ethnographies, digital writing, e-publishing) in all of my courses, as a way to acknowledge the expansive way "literature" and aesthetics saturate our contemporary world, and go beyond the codex, to the screen. 

I am a member of the Modern Language Association, the Modernist Studies Association, and the American Studies Association. This fall, I will be attending the MLA and the MSA, giving a paper on the "Libidinal Economies of Desire" at the MLA, and sharing a paper on the circulation of negative affects in the coteries of the Harlem Renaissance at the MSA. I am also currently reading the work of Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas ("Before Night Falls"), which may lead to a stand-alone scholarly project or an addition to my book.

Personal interests include writing poetry, surfing the web, working out, discovering the New England area, and traveling.