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Judith Sierra-Rivera

Assistant Professor of Spanish and Latina/o Studies

Office Phone: (814) 865-4252



Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies, University of Pennsylvania
M.A. in Comparative Literature, University of Puerto Rico



My research focuses on twentieth-century and contemporary Caribbean, Latin American, and U.S. Latinx literary and cultural productions. The keywords that organize my publications and courses are: intellectual thought and networking, emotions, anti-colonialism, feminism, queer studies, race and intersectionality studies, masculinity studies, and youth cultures.

In Affective Intellectuals and the Space of Catastrophe of the Americas (Ohio State University Press, 2018), I weave together five different contexts (Mexico, Chile, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the U.S.-Central America relationship) to argue that there is an intellectual tradition in the Americas rooted in the stories, desires, and needs of those who have been systematically pushed out of the public sphere (indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, immigrants, LGBTQ sexualities, and inhabitants of poverty). This argument leads me to analyze a number of writers whose emotional discourses during catastrophic circumstances have had a measurable impact on the formation of communities that organize civil efforts to surpass a crisis and, even more, to demand their full political inclusion in society.


Currently, I am working on three different research projects. The first one is Vulnerable Males: Feminist and Sovereign Performances of Heterosexual Masculinity in the Caribbean, a manuscript in which I propose that there are heterosexual males that (un)willingly speak, feel, and pose in such a way that emotionally opens them up and moves them toward empowered communities integrated by gender and sexual differences, where they become a minority. As a minority within these diverse communities, in the Caribbean and the U.S. diasporic enclaves, vulnerable male subjects practice a feminist sovereignty, that is, a freedom that rejects the male privilege to dominate and annihilate others. The second one continues my line of study on sovereignty by bringing together ecofeminism and anti-imperialism movements in Puerto Rico. The last one centers on the politics and aesthetics of boredom (as a mood and a condition) in youth cultures that emerged in neoliberal Latin(x) America.