Student Author(s)

Sarah Herrera, Hope College

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Jesus Montaño, English; Dr. Marsely Kehoe, Mellon Scholars

Document Type


Event Date



“They might be talking in perfect latin tongue and without warning begin to talk in perfect anglo tongue and keep it up like that, alternating between a thing that believes itself to be perfect and a thing that believes itself to be perfect, morphing back and forth between two beasts until out of carelessness or clear intent they suddenly stop switching tongues and start speaking that other one. In it brims nostalgia for the land they left or never knew when they use the words with which they name objects; while actions are alluded to with an anglo verb conjugated latin-style, pinning on a sonorous tail from back there.” (Herrera, Yuri. Signs Preceding The End Of The World). Translanguaging is an emerging field of study that explores the ways Latinx people utilize English and Spanish to create a new language— a third language that also showcases their transcultural lived experience. While translanguaging has applications in language pedagogy, my research looks at the deployment of translanguaging in literature. Specifically, I examine the works of Sandra Cisneros, Junot Díaz, Yuri Herrera, and Erika L. Sanchez for the artful ways they incorporate translanguaging and thus the way they explore culture and identity via language use. While recent scholarship in this emerging field has been largely devoted to classroom use, my study treats literary works— both fiction and poetry— for evidence of translanguaging and its necessary use by Latinx people in the exploration of their identity.


This project was made possible thanks to the Mellon Scholars Program.