Ana Elena Puga is a scholar, translator, and dramaturg. Her research focuses on the intersection of aesthetics and politics in Latin American and US Latino performance. Theoretical research interests include cultural studies, transnationalism, globalization, human rights, gender, and race.
Her current book project, Desperate Acts: Spectacles of Suffering in the Performance of Migration, interrogates the reliance on melodrama in late twentieth and twenty-first century artistic and social performances featuring undocumented migrants from Latin America, especially women and children. Research on Desperate Acts is being supported by a 2010-2011 External Faculty Fellowship at Stanford University’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.
Puga is also the author of Memory, Allegory, and Testimony in South American Theatre: Upstaging Dictatorship (Routledge 2008) and translator, with Mónica Núñez-Parra, of Finished from the Start and other Plays, an anthology of six works by Chilean playwright Juan Radrigán (Northwestern University Press 2008). Puga has published articles in the Latin American Theatre Review and Theatre Journal, among other journals. She co-founded LaMicro Theatre, dedicated to the staging of contemporary Spanish, Latin American and US Latino plays in English and bilingual productions.
On the undergraduate level, Puga has taught modern and contemporary Latin American and US Latino theatre, surveys of US theatre, European theatre, and dramaturgy. Her recent graduate seminars have focused on performance as it relates to migration, exile, commodification, and circulation.