Cole Rizki

Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies
New Cabell Hall 457
Office Hours:
Tues 2:00-4:00pm

Research Summary

Cole Rizki is a Latin Americanist and transgender studies scholar whose research examines the entanglements of transgender cultural production and activisms with histories of state violence and terror throughout the Américas. Rizki’s current book project, tentatively titled “Transfeminist Tide: Trans Politics Beyond Liberalism", examines Argentine travesti and trans politics and aesthetics to bring the study of democracy and its illiberal correlates to the forefront of trans studies. Moving across trans photographic archives of resistance, state intelligence and police archives, trans literary and cultural production, and activist practices that respond to state terror, his monograph establishes a new historical and cultural interpretation of trans politics as a response to illiberal state violence and its forms. Rizki is at work on a second monograph, tentatively titled “Hemispheric Trans Studies: American Transcultural Encounters and Practices.” This monograph will develop a distinct hemispheric orientation within the field of transgender studies by centering south-south exchanges to engage the work of theorists, political agents, and cultural producers working across Latin America and the US Global South. This project theorizes a travesti-trans of color analytic to track the geopolitics of repair and the reparative premises of both trans of color and travesti theory in the wake of multiple forms of state violence. He is invited guest editor of a special issue of NACLA: Report on the Americas on queer and trans resistance to violence (expected December 2024); co-editor of "Trans Studies en las Américas," a special issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly on Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Trans Studies (May 2019); and TSQ’s current Translation Section Editor (2020-present). His recent article “Familiar Grammars of Loss and Belonging: Curating Trans Kinship in Post-Dictatorship Argentina” was short-listed for the International Association for Visual Culture and the Journal of Visual Culture Early Career Researcher Essay Prize. His work appears in or is forthcoming with journals such as TSQ, Journal of Visual CultureBalam, Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, and Radical History Review.

Affiliate Faculty, Department of Women, Gender & Sexuality



Ph.D., Duke University, 2020
M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2013
B.A., Smith College, 2008


Peer-Reviewed Articles

“Gore Aesthetics: Chilean Necroliberalism and Travesti Resistance,” Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies special issue “Sexual Obscenity and Libidinal Politics in Latin America” (accepted, expected publication date December 2023)

“‘No State Apparatus Goes to Bed Genocidal then Wakes up Democratic:’ Fascist State Violence and Transgender Politics in Post-Dictatorship Argentina,” Radical History Review special issue “Fascisms and Antifascisms Since 1945,” no. 138 (October 2020) 82-107.

  • Finalist for the International Association for Visual Culture and the Journal of Visual Culture Early Career Researcher Essay Prize (2020)

Essays & Roundtables

“Estéticas de sobrevivencia. Arte de reparación” exhibition catalogue essay in ¿Cómo retratar a una sobreviviente? Germán Menna (ed.) (accepted, expected publication Spring 2024).

“Visualizing (trans)masculinities” Balam, no. 9, special issue “Nuevas masculinidades” (August 2023): 31-32, 250, 257. *Introduction to special issue of Balam, contemporary Latin American photography journal in Spanish/English/Portuguese.

“Trans Visibility and Trans Viability: a Roundtable” Journal of Visual Culture vol 21, no. 2 (2023): 297-320.

“Trans-, Translation, Transnational,” Translation Section introduction, TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly vol 8, no. 4 (November 2021): 532-536.

“Latin/x American Trans Studies: Toward a Travesti-Trans Analytic.” Introduction to special issue, “Trans Studies en las Américas,” TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly 6:2 (May 2019): 145-155.

Edited Volumes

Invited guest editor of NACLA: Report on the Americas special issue on queer and trans resistance to violence. Volume in preparation, details and call forthcoming. (Expected publication date December 2024).

“Trans Studies en las Américas,” Co-editor with Juana María Rodríguez, Denilson Lopes, and Claudia Sofía Garriga-López. TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly 6:2 (May 2019).

Editorial Positions

Translation Section Editor of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, (2020-present)

Work that appears under Rizki’s editorship:

Book Reviews

Review of Mapping Memory: Visuality, Affect, and Embodied Politics in the Americas. In special issue, "Views from the Larger Somewhere," Women & Performance, 30:3 (April 2021).

“Hemispheric Translations,” Review of Translating the Queer: Body Politics and Transnational Conversations. GLQ 25:1 (January 2019): 199-201.

Selected Grants & Awards

Karsh Institute of Democracy Book Fellowship, Democracy Initiative, 2022-2023
Faculty Success Program, National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity, Office of the Provost and Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Summer 2021
Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Duke University, 2019-2020
Versatile Humanists Summer Internship Program, Duke University, Equality North Carolina, Summer 2019
Kenan Institute for Ethics Graduate Fellow, Duke University, 2018-2019
Dora Anne Little Service Award, Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, Duke University, Summer 2018
Robert K. Steel Summer Research Award, Graduate School, Duke University, 2017
Service Learning Faculty Fellow, Service-Learning Program, Duke University, 2016-2017
Foreign Language Area Studies Fellow, US Department of Education, 2015-2016
Latin American and Caribbean Studies Fellow, Latin American and Caribbean Studies Center, Duke University, 2013-2014
Fulbright Teaching Fellow, US Department of Education, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2010-2011



Transgender Studies in the Americas

Queer Theory and Cultural Production in the Americas

Survey of Latin American Literature II 


Transgender Studies in the Americas

Queer/Cuir Studies in the Americas