I am an associate professor of English and Latina and Latino Studies at Northwestern University, where I teach courses on Latinx literature, immigration and US culture, contemporary US literature, and modern poetry.
My research centers on US Latinx literature from the late nineteenth century to the present, with particular interests in the relationships among race, class, gender, and literary institutions. I am currently working on a book (tentatively) titled “Latinx Modernism and the Spirit of Latinoamericanismo” that examines the prodigious amount of literature published in US Spanish-language newspapers and magazines in the early twentieth century. How did Latinx writers during this time period negotiate their relationship to elite currents of Latin American poetry and politics while confronting the realities of modernization in the shadow of US empire?
I am the author of Ends of Assimilation: The Formation of Chicano Literature, which was published by Oxford University Press in 2015. Ends of Assimilation traces the development of Chicana/o literature in relation to sociological accounts of assimilation. I show how social scientific discourses imagine themselves to be transparent, while in fact they produce and shape the very culture they attempt to describe. Literature provides an important counter-discourse to the degree that it understands itself as producing, and not merely documenting, new cultural forms.
I have also authored essays in such journals as Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, American Literature, MELUS, and American Literary History, among other places. Find me (jalbacutler) LibraryThing.