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Reading Groups

Brujas and Black Magic: Latinx Culture and Speculative Fiction with Joy Sanchez-Taylor

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4 Sessions Tuesdays, 7:00 pm EDT - 8:30 pm EDT July 5 to August 30, 2022

Online via Zoom

The ‘With Books’ option includes both titles required for this reading group at a 10% discount.

Meeting Dates:
Tuesdays, 7/5, 7/26, 8/9, 8/30
7-8:30pm ET via Zoom

The term “bruja” in Latinx cultures often has a negative association; a bruja is a troublemaker or a temptress—essentially, a woman who refuses to conform to traditional gender roles. Brujas are also associated with evil and black magic; historically, women labeled bruja in colonized countries were accused by those in power of performing black magic and put to death as punishment.

This reading group will examine depictions of La Bruja in contemporary speculative fiction and popular culture to discuss how Latinas today are reclaiming the term “Bruja” as a term of female empowerment. The group will discuss selections from the anthology Speculative Fiction for Dreamers (2021) and Zoraida Córdova’s Labyrinth Lost (2016).

Please read the short story “Curanderas in the Ceiling” by Alex Temblador for our first session (in Speculative Fiction for Dreamers, pg. 199).


Led by

  • Joy Sanchez-Taylor

    Joy Sanchez-Taylor

    Joy Sanchez-Taylor

    Joy Sanchez-Taylor is a Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY) and a 2022-2023 Mellon/ACLU Community College Fellow whose research specialty is intersections between science fiction, fantasy, and critical race studies. Her book Diverse Futures: Science Fiction and Authors of Color (2021) examines the contributions of late twentieth and twenty-first century U.S. and Canadian science fiction authors of color to the genre. Dr. Sanchez-Taylor’s research has been published in the peer-reviewed journals Science Fiction Studies, Extrapolation, and The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. She is currently working on a monograph project titled Diverse Fantasies.