Lara N. Dotson-Renta, PhD is an academic, writer, and researcher with an interest in comparative postcolonialities, the usages of popular culture in diasporic identity construction, and the negotiation and creation of national narratives. A native of Puerto Rico, she grew up primarily in the United States and undertook graduate study and research in Europe. It was in this context that she began investigating the parallels and intersections of postcolonialism and migration across continents and cultures.
She holds a BA in French and Spanish from Dartmouth College, a Master’s in French Literature and Culture from NYU in Paris, and a PhD in Romance Languages as well as a Certificate in African Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. She has published extensively in academic journals and topical periodicals, and has presented at numerous conferences around the world. Her academic book, Immigration, Popular Culture, and the Re-Routing of European Muslim Identity, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in the Fall of 2012.
French & Francophone Literature, Art, and Poetry
Rutgers University, USA
Alisa Belanger holds a Ph.D. in French and Francophone Studies from UCLA. She earned an M.A. in Langue et littérature françaises from McGill University in Montreal. Her areas of specialization are Quebec Studies, postcolonial francophone literatures, and francophone book art, including artists’ books, book-objects, artist pamphlets, and bibliophilic works. Her full-length translation of Tombeau de Lou by Denise Desautels was recently published by Éditions Guernica under the title Things that Fall (2013).
Spanish (Latin America), Caribbean
Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Argentina
Sandra Casanova-Vizcaíno (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) holds a BA in Hispanic Studies and French from the University of Puerto Rico. She recently completed her PhD in Hispanic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania with a dissertation of Cuban fantastic narrative between 1910 and 2010. Sandra specializes in Hispanic Caribbean literature and film and her current research project explores horror and terror in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. She has worked at the University of San Andrés in Buenos Aires and is a member of the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios en Teoría Poscolonial from the National University of Rosario in Argentina.
French & Francophone
Université de Moncton, Edmundston, Canada
Pénélope Cormier is a Resident Scholar at Université de Moncton – campus d’Edmundston (Canada), and a doctoral student at McGill University. Her research interests are Francophone – primarily Franco-Canadian – literatures and the relationship between contemporary society and literature. Aside from scholarly articles, she writes yearly reviews of Acadian literature for Nouvelles Études Francophones, the international journal of the Conseil international d’études francophones (CIÉF). For the past decade, she has also written critiques of Acadian art and literature in various newspapers and magazines, and served as consultant for numerous cultural organizations.
Negarra Akili Kudumu
Culture and Politics, English, Spanish & Portuguese
Negarra A. Kudumu is a Seattle based writer, researcher, and professional active in the arts and culture sectors. Her intellectual interests lie in the fields of cultural production, cultural consumption, postcolonial studies and the anthropology of space. Professionally Negarra focuses on the development and execution of arts education and public programs, as well as community engagement strategies for arts and culture organizations. She has most recently served as the 2014 Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute Artist-in-Residence, is a contributing writer and editor to The Postcolonialist and is currently a member of the education department at the Frye Art Museum.
Arts & Culture, English, French & Italian
Tracy Martinez holds a BA in French from Bard College, as well as a Master’s degree in French Literature and Culture from New York University in Paris. Fluent in Italian as well as Spanish, she is an experienced educator and translator with a background in graphic design and photography. She is currently a freelance editor.
Arts & Culture, Portuguese
Derek Pardue holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology and is currently an Assistant Professor in Brazilian Studies at Aarhus University in Denmark. He has conducted research in São Paulo since 1995 with two visiting positions at University of Campinas (2010) and the Federal University of São Carlos (2014). His two books include: Brazilian Hip Hop and Ruminations on Violence. A third book, “Creole Citizenship” forthcoming with University of Illinois Press in 2015, discusses identity politics and diaspora among Cape Verdean youth in Lisbon, Portugal. Derek has published on a wide range of topics in leading social science and humanities journals. A selection of texts can be accessed here.
Maribel Peñalver Vicea
Spanish & French
Universidad de Alicante, Spain
Maribel Peñalver Vicea is Professor and Senior Lecturer in Linguistics and French Literary Translation at The University of Alicante (Spain). Dr. Peñalver Vicea belongs to the SYLED-CLESTHIA and Gender and Language Research groups at the Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3. Her current research focuses on linguistics and its relationship to francophone literature, as well as psychoanalysis, gender, and semiotics. She has published widely and is a member of numerous editorial boards.
Arts & Culture, English, Spanish, Portuguese, & Italian
Stephanie Pensa holds a BA in Italian and Education from Dartmouth College, as well as a Master’s degree in International Educational Development (Peace Studies) from Columbia University. Fluent in Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese, she is also conversant in French. Based in Brazil, she is a writer, language instructor, and freelance editor.
Arts and Politics, North Africa & Middle East
University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Amanda E. Rogers is currently an Andrew Mellon post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities (University of Wisconsin-Madison). She received her PhD from Emory University in 2013, and is the author of a forthcoming book entitled: Semiotics of Rebellion from Morocco to Egypt: Iconologies of Political Dissent and Governmental Legitimacy in Regimes of Affect. Her research is informed by nearly ten years of teaching and research across Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Libya, France, Spain and Egypt, and has been funded, in part, by the Jacob K. Javits Foundation, Fulbright IIE, the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, the American Institute for Yemeni Studies, Fulbright-Hays and the American Institute for Maghrib Studies. In addition to academic publication, her work as a photo-journalist and regional analyst has appeared on the Muftah.Org, Aslan Media Initiatives, Kifah Libya, the BBC, Al-Jazeera and the Front Line Club.
North Africa & Middle East
University of California, Berkeley, USA
Sara Salem is a PhD researcher at the Institute of Social Studies in the Netherlands and a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. Her work focuses on historical and institutional perspectives on political economy, and centers specifically on the recent wave of uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa. Her interests include decolonial theory, postcolonial feminism, critical political economy, and theories of post-development.
She completed her BA in sociology at the American University in Cairo and went on to complete an MA in Middle East studies and an MA in International Development in the Netherlands. She has worked at numerous NGOs in Cairo, mainly on issues of political participation and gender. Follow her on twitter @saramsalem
Raél Jero Salley
African Arts & Visual Critique
University of Cape Town, South Africa
Raél Jero Salley is an artist, cultural theorist and art historian. He holds degrees from The Rhode Island School of Design (BFA), The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA), and The University of Chicago (PhD). His research interests include modern and contemporary art and visual culture, with a focus on Blackness and African Diaspora. Salley is director of ‘the names we give: Art, Culture and Society,’ an interdisciplinary forum for public workshops, scholarly symposia and publications, creative performances and events. Website: www.raelsalley.com
Many thanks to the all the members of the Advisory Board who have offered their time and expertise.
Schweitzer Professor of Philosophy, Albert Schweitzer Institute
Professor of Spanish and English
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Mary Jean Green
Edward Tuck Professor of French
Yolanda Martinez-San Miguel
Professor of Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies
Associate Professor of History and Politics
Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature