Laura Lomas

Laura Lomas


llomas [at]



Office Location

360 Dr. Martin L. King Blvd.
Hill Hall 519
Newark, New Jersey 07102

Office Hours

Tuesday and Thursday 1:30-2:30 pm and by appointment.

Laura Lomas, Professor (Ph.D. Columbia 2001), teaches comparative American studies, Latina/o/x literature and culture, ethnic and immigrant literature of the United States and the Americas, women's writing, nineteenth century studies, and feminist and decolonial theory in the English Department and the Graduate Program in American Studies at Rutgers University, Newark. Lomas is author of Translating Empire: José Martí, Migrant Latino Subjects and American Modernities (Duke University Press, 2008), which received the Modern Language Association's Prize for best book in Chicana and Chicano and Latina and Latino Studies, and an Honorable Mention for the Latin American Studies Association's Latino Studies Section Book Award.  Against monumentalizing and nation-centered readings, this book defines New York-based Cuban José Martí as a cultural translator of the imperial modernity of the United States in texts addressed to readers throughout the Hispanophone world. This perspective, as an organizer of Cuban and Puerto Rican migrants in New York, as a racialized Latino migrant inside the monster's entrails--as he famously situated himself--shaped his aesthetic experiments in modernist poetry and prose in the 1880s and 1890s. 

Lomas co-edited The Cambridge History of Latina/o American Literature  (2018; a Choice Outstanding academic title), which gathers the work of eminent scholars to offer the first comprehensive literary history of Latina/o American literature from the colonial period through the twenty-first century.  She has published over two dozen essays in field-defining collections such as Jesse Alemán and Rodrigo Lazo's The Latino Nineteenth Century, and in scholarly journals, including Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, Cuban Studies, Modernism/Modernity, American Literature, Small Axe, Revista de literatura cubana, Trasvesía:  A Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, Translation Review, Journal of American Studies, Comparative American Studies and Review: Latin American Literature and Arts.

She has served as Director of the Women's and Gender Studies Program, co-founded the Latina/o Studies Working Group, co-founded the Immigrant rights Collective, and was Founding Faculty Director of a graduate level Cuba study abroad program at Rutgers University-Newark. She has served as an Associate Editor of Signs, and serves on the Advisory Board of the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project, and on the Editorial Boards of Pasados, Hostos Review,  and of Periférica: Journal of Social, Cultural and Literary History.  

Her research has received fellowship support from the British Academy, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Whiting and Mellon Foundations.  Lomas is an Affiliate of the Latino Research Institute at University of Texas-Austin; she was thrice recognized as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of the West Indies, in Kingston, Jamaica; Universidad Nacional Mayor San Marcos, in Lima, Peru; and Universidade Federal de Piauí, in Teresina, Brazil.   

Courses Taught

Foundations of Literary Study

Reading Latinx Literature

Undocumented Subjects

Race, Nation and Borders in American Literature

Latina/o/x Literature and Culture

Representing Cuba

NY/NJ Borderlands: Seminar in Interdisciplinary Humanities

Literature of Migration in the Americas

Perspectives on American Modernity

The Chronicle and the City: José Martí's New York

Studies in American Authors

Foundations of Literary Study

Women and World Literature

Literature of the Americas

Western Literature Since the Renaissance

Writing and Incarceration


Topics in Latinx Literature and Culture

Afrolatinidad: Text, Performance, Archive

Theories of Translation and Transculturation

Latina Feminist Theory and the Cuban Diaspora

Undocumented Subjects: Narratives of Migration in the Americas

The Politics of Reproduction

Subjects of Empire:  Theories and Contexts from the Americas

Research Initiatives

Director, Lourdes Casal Project in Comparative Humanities and Cultural Studies at Rutgers University-Newark


2022-2023 Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award, Univerisdade Federal de Piauí, Brazil. 

2019-2020 Research Fellowship, Latino Research Institute, Mexican-American and Latina/o Studies, University of Texas, Austin 

2019 Choice Outstanding Academic Title for Cambridge History of Latina/o American Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2019)

2018 Visiting Fellowship, British Academy, London, U.K 

2015-2016 Faculty Fellow, Center for Cultural Analysis, Research Seminar on Archipelagoes, Rutgers New Brunswick, NJ 

2016 Community Service Award, N.J. Hispanic Youth Showcase, presented by William Q. Sánchez

2016 Student Choice Teaching Award, "Legacy Professor," as determined by student body, in vote organized by Student Government Association

2015 Center for Global Advancement and International Affairs (GAIA)

Ambassadorship to Cuba, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ 

2014 Co-Principal Investigator, Chancellor's Seed Grant. Latina/o Studies Working Group: Institutional Memory, Community Partnerships and Cultural Theory 

2011 Fulbright Fellowship, Lima, Perú 

2010 Honorable Mention. Latino Studies Section Book Award, Latin American Studies Association for Translating Empire: José Martí, Migrant Latino Subjects and American Modernities (Duke University Press, 2008).

2009 Modern Language Association Prize in U.S. Latina and Latino and Chicana and Chicano Literary and Cultural Studies for Translating Empire: José Martí, Migrant Latino Subjects and American Modernities (Duke University Press, 2008). 

2008-2009 Fellow, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Faculty Seminar, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

2008 Leaders in Diversity Award; University-Wide Recognition of leadership to promote diversity. Rutgers University; New Brunswick, New Jersey.

2007 Finalist for the Don D. Walker Award for the Year's Best Essay in Western American Literature and Culture, for "'The War Cut Out My Tongue’: Domestic Violence, Foreign Wars and Translation in Demetria Martínez,"American Literature 78.2 (June 2006): 357-387.

2006-2007 Rutgers Newark and Honors College-Uses of Diversity Instructional Grant Program Recipient. "Recovering, Defining and Renewing Latino Studies at Rutgers Newark" to further Undergraduate research and Increase Library Holdings in Latina/o Studies.

2004-2005 National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, for relief from teaching responsibilities

2003 Research Council Grant, Rutgers University.

2002 National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Institute Fellow, in Havana,Cuba, Tampa, Florida 

1999-2000 Mrs. Giles Whiting Humanities Fellowship 

1998 Mellon Summer Fellowship, La Habana, Cuba 

1994 Foreign Language Area Studies Grant, University of São Paolo, Brazil 

1992-1993 Fulbright Fellowship, University of the West Indies, Mona; Kingston, Jamaica, 

1989 Phi Beta Kappa


Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, New York, NY.

B.A. in English and Religion from Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA,  High Honors.

Certificate in Feminist Studies at Columbia University.


Latina/o/x literary history, criticism and cultural theory

Martí Studies

Feminist Cultural Studies and Women's Writing 

Translation Studies

Latinx Studies

Nineteenth Century Studies

Literature of the United States

Comparative Caribbean Literature

Decolonial, Post-Colonial Theory 



Translating Empire: José Martí, Migrant Latino Subjects and American Modernities  (Durham: Duke University Press, 2008; Winner, MLA Best Book in Latina/o and Chicana/o Studies; Honorable Mention Latino Studies Section, Latin American Studies Association).

Co-Edited Volumes: 

With John Morán González, Cambridge History of Latina/o American Literature (2018, Choice Outstanding Academic Title).

With Lourdes Ocampo Andino, Martí in Context (forthcoming in 2025)

Series Co-Editor, with John Morán González, Latinx Literature in Transition, 3 Volumes (forthcoming Cambridge University Press) 

Articles in Peer Reviewed Journals:

“Desdoblamiento after Colonization: Julia de Burgos’s Latinx Modernism.” Forthcoming in Modernism/Modernity.

"Afro-Latina Disidentification and Bridging: Lourdes Casal's Critical Race Theory." Meridians 21.1 (2022): 123-154.

"La escritura interdisciplinaria de Lourdes Casal." Revista de Literatura Cubana (2018).

"'El negro es tan capaz como el blanco': José Martí, 'Pachín' Marín, Lucy Parsons y la política de la diáspora hispanoamericana en Nueva York a finales del siglo XIX," Anuario de Estudios Martianos, 40 (2017).

"On the 'Shock' of Diaspora: Lourdes Casal's Critical Interdisciplinarity and Intersectional Feminism," Cuban Studies 46 (2018): 10-38.

"Translation and Transculturation in the New York-Hispanic Caribbean Borderlands." Small Axe 48 (2016): 147-62.

“Migration and Decolonial Politics in Two Afro-Latino Poets: “Pachín” Marín and “Tato” Laviera,” REVIEW: Latin American Literature and Arts 89.48.2 (Fall 2014): 155-163. Special Issue Nicolás Kanellos, ed. The Americas in New York: Writing and Arts in La Gran Manzana.

“Thinking-Across, Infiltration and Transculturation: José Martí’s Theory and Practice of Post- Colonial Translation in New York” Special Issue Translation Review, Regina Galasso and Carmen Boullosa, eds. (Fall 2011): 13-35.

"José Martí's 'Evening of Emerson' and the United Statesian Literary Tradition," Journal of American Studies 43.1 (2009): 1-17.

"Redefining the American Revolutionary: Gabriela Mistral on José Martí," Comparative American Studies, 6.3 (September 2008): 241-264.

"'The War Cut Out My Tongue’: Foreign Wars, Domestic Violence and Translation in Demetria Martínez," American Literature 78.2 (June 2006): 357-387. Nominated for Don D. Walker Award for Best Essay in Western American Literature and Culture.

"Beyond 'Fixed' and 'Mixed' Racial Paradigms: The Discursive Production of the Hispanic and the 2000 U.S. Census," Ilha do Desterro: A Journal of Language and Literature, Special Issue on Diversity and Difference (Brazil) 48 (2005): 65-94.

"Modernization, Imperialism and the Commodification of Identity in José Martí’s ‘Great Cattle Exposition,'" Travesía: Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies 9.2 (August 2000): 193-212.

"Mystifying Mystery: Inscriptions of the Oral in the Legend of Rose Hall." Journal of West Indian Literature 6.2 (1994): 70-87.

Book Chapters: 

"José Martí, Comparative Reading, and the Emergence of Latino Modernity in Gilded-Age New York." Cambridge History of Latina/o American Literature. Cambridge University Press, 2018. 249-275.

"Lourdes Casal's Interdisciplinary Writing," Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latina/o Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019. 10,000 words.

"The Politics of Recovery." Writing/Righting History: 25 Years of Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage. Houston: Arte Público Press, 2019.

“The City Unmakes Empire: José Martí’s Latino/a Urbanism,” Ryan Spangler, ed, Syncing the Americas: José Martí and the New Modernity. Bucknell University Press, 2017. 141-166.

"El negro es tan capaz como el blanco": José Martí and the Anti-Racist, Anti-Imperialist Politics of Late-Nineteenth Century Latinidad," Jesse Alemán and Rodrigo Lazo, eds. The Latino Nineteenth Century. New York University Press, 2016. 301-322.

“The Trans-American Literature of Conquest and Revolution.” Cambridge Companion to Latino/a American Literature, ed. John M. González. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. 17-35.

"'This is a Warning, My Beloved America': Tato Laviera and the Birth of a New American Poetic Language." In Jesus Abraham Laviera, Bendición: The Complete Poetry of Tato Laviera. Ed. Nicolás Kanellos, Introduction by Laura Lomas. Houston: Arte Público Press, 2014. xv-xxviii.

“Julia de Burgos’ Intimate Liberation: Splitting and Unfolding Post-Colonial Subjectivity in 'A Julia de Burgos’ and 'Yo Mismo Fui Mi Ruta'”. In Aspects of Modernity: American Women's Poetry. Ed. Sukanya Dasgupta. Kolkata: Jadavpur University Press, 2014. 99-115.

"The Unbreakable Voice in a Minor Language: Following José Martí's Migratory Routes," in Vanessa Pérez y Rosario, Ed., Hispanic Caribbean Migration: Narratives of Displacement. London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2010. 23-38.

"Between Nation and Empire: Latino Cultural Critique at the Intersection of the Americas," The Cuban Republic and José Martí: Reception and Use of a National Symbol, edited by Mauricio A. Font and Alfonso W. Quiroz. Boston: Lexington Books, 2006, 115-127.

Associated Programs

Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Rutgers University-Newark

Program in American Studies, Rutgers University-Newark

Rutgers Advanced Institute for Critical Caribbean Studies, Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Latino and Caribbean Studies, Rutgers University-New Brunswick