writer • professor • creatrix




In Magical Habits Monica Huerta draws on her experiences growing up in her family's Mexican restaurants and her life as a scholar of literature and culture to meditate on how relationships among self, place, race, and storytelling contend with the afterlives of history and racial capitalism.

“This striking debut blends personal and political essays with U.S. and Mexican histories, photos, menus and a fable to indulge ‘multiple habits of thought rather than proposing there is one way of knowing.’”The New York Times

Magical Habits is as much a treasure trove as it is a book—full of surprises, glittering insights, lyrical vignettes, personal archives, political history, family lore, and brilliant literary critique. The writing is exquisite, for the book is both polyphonic and constantly—effortlessly—changing tack. I would turn the page without any sense of where Monica Huerta might take me next, only knowing that I wanted to follow, that I did not want to come out from under this spell.”
— Justin Torres, author of We the Animals

“Monica Huerta moves readers toward a habit of being captured by objects that mesh one's own singular and collective histories. We learn to breathe with them and to be dispossessed by them. This fantastic book enchanted me and taught me so much.” — Lauren Berlant, author of Cruel Optimism 

"Thoughtful, wry, and intimate, Magical Habits is a memoir that’s rich with questions...." — Meg Nola, Foreword

“Huerta weaves into each chapter powerful stories of her upbringing and family and the narrative of her own winding path in academia. She cleverly uses a variety of documents and historical archival material, sourced from her family and their businesses in Chicago and Mexico, to explore wide-ranging themes.” — Amy Lewontin, The Library Journal

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Hold Still: Coming Undone Reading Print Culture Like a Work of Art
Anti-Racism and the Problem of the Soul

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Review of Matthew Fox-Amato, Exposing Slavery: Photography, Human Bondage, and the Birth of Modern Visual Politics (Oxford University Press, 2019) 

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Expanding the Sayable: Listening, Teaching

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Geometry & Mechanism: Material Metaphors and the Force of Uncertainty in Legal Thought

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The Queer Digital Touch of Racial Sight

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What’s Mine: Involuntary Expressions, Modern Personality, and the Right to Privacy

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 Review of Yu Fang-Cho, Uncoupling American Empire: Cultural Politics of Deviance and Unequal Difference, 1890-1910 (SUNY Press, 2013), Claire Viginia Eby’s Until Choice Do Us Part: Marriage Reform in the Progressive Era (The University of Chicago Press, 2014), and Holly Jackson’s American Blood: The Ends of Family in American Literature, 1850-1900 (Oxford University Press, 2014) 

“The Meantime: A Theory of Photographic Temporality”

“Wharton: Genre and Gender”