"The goal of much recent scholarship on Puerto Rican national identity has been to clarify the ideological underpinnings of nationalist discourses. My aim is to further interrogate nationalism by addressing its silences. The many voices who imagined the nation generally assumed a Creole "brotherhood" as the true forgers of national and cultural identity. In spite of its anti-colonial impulse, Creole cultural nationalism did not welcome women or Afro-Puerto Ricans in the national brotherhood.
My project goes to the heart of this problematic relationship. To the detriment of women, the cultural nationalism of the men of the Generacion del Treinta conceived of nation-building in terms heavily invested in metaphors of male adulthood and virility. To the detriment of mixed-race and black Puerto Ricans, this nationalism understood white Puerto Ricans as the true builders of the nation. My book reviews selected texts of the Generacion del Treinta suggesting that cultural institutions, publications, and literary works provided the means through which class, racial, and gender alliances were played out in the context of U.S. political and economic hegemony over the island."
Years at Knox: 1995 to present
Ph.D., 1993, Stanford University.
M.A., 1982, Harvard University.
B.A., 1980, University of Puerto Rico.
Women, culture, and society, writings by feminists of color, African-American women writers, exploring literature by chicanas, caribbean feminist methodologies, Puerto Rican nationalism, women intellectuals, intersectionality.
2011-2013 Cave Canem Poetry Foundation Fellow.
Co-director of Knox in Buenos Aires Program 2010 and 2013.
Book Review of Miriam DeCosta-Willis, editor. (2003). Daughters of the Diaspora: Afra-Hispanic Writers. Kingston, Miami: Ian Randle Publishers. xlii + pp. 500. Index. in Caribbean Studies Journal, 2006.
"Hitos de la raza [criolla]: servidumbre y maternidad subalterna en la obra de María Cadilla de Martinez. In Contrapuntos de genero y raza." San Juan: CIS (Centro de Investigaciones Sociales) 2005. (Servitude and Subaltern Motherhood in the Works of María Cadilla de Martinez)
Women, Creole Identity and Intellectual Life in Early Twentieth-Century Puerto Rico. Temple University Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2004.
"Margot Arce y las paradójicas raíces de la cultura nacional." (Margot Arce and the Paradoxical Roots of National Culture). University of Puerto Rico Press. Obras Completas: Margot Arce 3 (2001).
"Olga Nolla." Routledge, New York. Who’s Who in Contemporary Women’s Writing (2001).
"Magaly Quiñones." Routledge, New York. Who’s Who in Contemporary Women’s Writing (2001).
"Rethinking Race in the Puerto Rican Context." University of Illinois Press, Urbana-Champaign. The Afro-Americanist 11/1 (1998).
"Beyond Folklore: Toward a New Puerto Rican Discourse on Race and Racism." The Afro-Americanist (1998).
"Mayra Santos-Febres: Hacia una reescritura del imaginario nacional" [Towards a Rewriting of the National Imaginary]. Paper delivered in Spanish. Panel title: The Moral Geographies of Colonial Rules: Racialization and Social Regulation in Late-Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Puerto Rico. Puerto Rican Studies Association, Fall 2008.
"Engaging Blackness: Afro-Puerto Rican Women, Intersectional Analysis and the ‘Postmodern' Intellectual Field." Organization of American Historians, New York, Spring 2008.
"Porque nos obsede la vision de un pueblo Nuevo: Afro Puerto Rican Women, Intersectional Analysis and Resistance." LASA Latin American Studies Association, Montreal, Fall 2007.
"Courting the Mulatto Nation: Populism, Race and Creole Identity in Early Twentieth-Century Puerto Rico." Caribbean Studies Association, St. Kitts, Spring, 2004.
"Emilio S. Belaval’s Neocriollismo: Race-Mixing and The Problems of Puerto Rican Culture." Sixth Conference of the Puerto Rican Studies Association, Graduate Center of the City University of New York, 2004.
"Hitos de la raza (criolla): servidumbre y maternidad subalterna en la obra de María Cadilla de Martínez." ("Milestones of the [Creole] Race: Servitude and Subaltern Maternity in a work by María Cadilla de Matínez.") Puerto Rican Institute on Race and Identity, University of Puerto Rico, 2001.
"Been There, Done That: New Perspectives in the Study of Puerto Ricans and Race." Puerto Rican Studies Association, Amherst, Massachusetts, 2000.
"Sufragistas, mulatitas sentimentales y manumisos desagradecidos: Hacia una relectura de Los cuentos de la Universidad de Emilio S. Belaval." ("Suffragists, Sentimental Mulattas and Ungrateful Freedmen: Toward a Rereading of Emilio S. Belaval’s Los cuentos de la Universidad.") American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, San Juan, 2000.
"Mulatitas Sentimentales y Manumismos Desagradecidos: Rethinking Race in the Puerto Rican Literature of the Interwar Period." Puerto Rican Studies Association, 1998.
"Having Our Say: A Como de Lugar." University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1998.
Campus & Community Involvement
Chair, Gender and Women's Studies department, 2004 to present.
Organizer and presenter of Martin Luther King Jr. winter convocation at Knox College.
McNair Mentor 2011, 2012, 2013.
What Students Say
"Before taking Gender and Literature with Professor Roy-Féquière, I thought feminism was merely a fabrication of the west. I never realized the serious issues surrounding women and their roles in society. That course, and then Feminist Epistemology, challenged me to see my Arab culture critically and differently, and helped me to see that feminism is an open-minded ideology-and that it is not exclusively western.
Magali's progressive and passionate teaching style inspired me to grow and develop as a Palestinian woman. Her mixture of strength, toughness and gracefulness stimulates her students to want to learn more. Her greatest joy is challenging her students to expand their horizons.
After taking her classes I decided to major in Gender and Women's Studies, so I can teach back home in Palestine and become an advocate for Palestinian Arab women. Magali is truly an honorable professor who has made a huge impact on my life, both personally and professionally."
-Katrin Mohamed Masharqa, Gender and Women's Studies and International Relations major
Michael Cooke and Ritu Gyawali are chosen for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship program, which awards up to $5,000 for costs related to studying abroad.
John Podesta, a Knox College graduate and member of the Board of Trustees, will join the White House staff as a senior counselor to President Barack Obama, according to media reports.
Music and writing students collaborated and performed with renowned bassist and composer Ben Allison, as jazz fans got a live, free preview of Allison's new album, during Knox's inaugural Mirza Jazz Residency.