Erika Gisela Abad

Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary, Gender, and Ethnic Studies
Expertise: Puerto Rico and Latinos in the United States, LGBT community and social movements, Queer fandom, Diversity in literature, Latino and gender representation in the media, Television and fan communities online , Social media use and natural disasters


Erika Gisela Abad joined UNLV's Interdisciplinary, Gender, and Ethnic Studies Department in Fall 2016. While her primary training has been in Queer and Latinx Studies, working in customer service, Latino youth advocacy, and food justice has added to her initial insights on Queer Latinx individuals' representation in community building and social movements.

Since 2017, Abad has presented at ClexaCon — an annual media and entertainment convention for the female LGBTQ community and its allies — and will organize its first academic lab in 2019. Extending her interest in queer women’s representation, her guest-edited issue of Sinister Wisdom is set to be published in late 2019.

Before working in Las Vegas, she was a Chicago-based oral historian and ethnographer for the Center for Puerto Rican Studies.

Her expertise has been published in Sounding Out, Latinx Talk, Women in Higher Education Newsletter. Abad is also a well-published essayist, poet, and fiction writer whose creative works have been published in Sinister Wisdom and Crab Fat Magazine, among other venues


  • B.A., Latin American and Latina/o Studies, DePaul University
  • Ph.D., American Studies, Washington State University

Related Links

Erika Gisela Abad In The News

Nevada Humanities
September 9, 2020
I ask my girlfriend how to write about what we’ve experienced on top of quarantine. She tells me that she doesn’t want to know, doesn’t want to be judged about the risks we took to receive comfort. She recognizes it’s important. It’s important to talk about how, amid quarantine and civil unrest, Black families have additional forms of grief exacerbated by quarantine and the civil unrest.
September 3, 2020
As the LatinX population grows in Nevada to some 30 percent of the total, they are adding to and transforming culture, business and politics throughout the state.
Latinx Spaces
July 15, 2020
Between July 8th and July 13th, I had been following the updates because so many of my queer fandom friends were posting hopes, wishes and fears regarding the disappearance of Naya Rivera. Amid the brutal deaths of Vanessa Guillen, Breonna Taylor, and the continued persecution of undocumented immigrant children and adults, I’ve grown weary of grieving the loss of young women of color. A celebrity death, in context, serves as a reminder of the numbing reality that the world expects much of women of color in their life and death, their celebrity and the context of their death giving weight to the energy a greater public exercises in wanting more for them/us.
El Tiempo
June 14, 2019
On Wednesday, June 5, the Art Department of the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) welcomed the "Latinos Who Lunch" (Latinos Who Lunch) to the Marjorie Barrick Art Museum. The hosts of the poscat are Babelito and Favyfax, both alumni of UNLV, who had as special guest Dr. Erika Abad, to start a conversation about the representation of Latinx in digital media.

Articles Featuring Erika Gisela Abad

three stacked retro televisions displaying rainbow off-air signal
Arts and CultureOctober 3, 2018
UNLV professor Erika Abad on the history of LGBTQ people in comics, television, film, and other media, and why TV's latest superhero is just what we need.
A student and faculty member examine an experiment under magnification.
ResearchAugust 11, 2017
McNair/AANAPISI programs for low-income, first-generation students matches undergrads with faculty mentors that share their focus and goals.