University of South Florida
College of Arts and Sciences
Office: CPR 329
Email: yirizarry (at) usf.edu
My research areas include Chicana/o and Latina/o and cultural production, Hispanic transnational literatures, Caribbean historical fiction, Visual Rhetorics, and Testimonio. Generally, I am interested in what and why: what representations of Chicana/o/x and Latina/o/x experience look like and why authors have made the specific generic, linguistic, and visual choices appearing in their work. My book, Chicana/o and Latina/o Fiction: The New Memory of Latinidad (U of Illinois Press, 2016) is the recipient of the MLA Prize in United States Chicana and Chicano and Latina and Latino Literary and Cultural Studies (2015-2016) and the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies 2018 Book Award. All of the literature analyzed within it is from the contemporary period and the chapters are organized by pairing books written by authors from two of these four major Hispanic descended groups: Cubans, Dominicans, Mexican, and Puerto Ricans. The book is scheduled for release in paperback in February 2019. You can check out reviews in American Literary History, MELUS, and Salon SX. The book would not have been possible without grants I received to complete it: McKnight Faculty Development Research Fellowship (2010-2011) and a 2011 Humanities Institute Summer Grant.
Scholarship takes a range of forms and one of my goals is to keep my own work diverse in this regard. My publications include journal articles, book chapters, author interviews, and book reviews. I tend to publish in venues specific to broad categories of Contemporary literature: US American, Comparative Latina/o/x, Hispanic Caribbean, Latin American. Forthcoming, for example, is an ecocritical essay on the novel, The Palm of Darkness by Puerto Rican author Mayra Montero; this will appear in Latinx Environmentalisms: Place, Justice, and the Decolonial (Temple UP). “ ‘Where I Find Poetry and Tension’: An Interview with Daniel José Older” appears in Symbolism: An International Annual of Critical Aesthetics (2017). A recent book review can be found in American Literary History. Earlier pieces appear in journals including Centro: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Antípodas, and Contemporary Literature. Producing research has garnered me some great opportunities, including the chance to present my research internationally; I have traveled to Spain (2018, 2016, 2012), Curaçao (2011), Puerto Rico (2009), and The Netherlands (2008, 2003). I am excited and humbled that my efforts in research, teaching, and community engagement have been recognized in awards such as the Status of Latinos (SOL) Faculty Award for Contributions to Latinx Communities (2018), Jerome Krivanek Distinguished Teaching Award (2017), Dr. Israel Tribble Award for Outstanding Alumni Support from the Florida Education Fund/McKnight Doctoral Fellows Program (2017) and the USF Faculty Outstanding Research Achievement Award (2016).
My graduate teaching routinely includes courses in US Literatures, including Latina@ Literature and US Multiethnic Fiction. Professional Development is built into all of my seminars so students have opportunities to learn and/or hone their critical writing and oral presentation skills. I have directed and sat on MA and PhD committees where students have written on US Multiethnic literatures as well as distinct traditions within US Literatures: Latina/o/x, African, and Asian American. Graduate students interested in my work or having me sit as a member of their committee should enroll in a course with me and alert me to their interest early in the semester, during office hours. PhD students can use my courses to earn their doctoral seminar credits; depending on their anticipated graduation semester, MA students might use the article length paper they write in seminar for their MA portfolio. In all of my courses, I work with students to read texts at multiple levels: linguistic, generic, cultural, historical. At the undergraduate level, I teach courses framed by historical period such as Contemporary Literature or by genre, such as Modern Short Prose and the 20thc American Novel. We pay attention to the material conditions through which the text is produced, its intended audience, and how we, as readers, engage with it. I love teaching. As we all know, the world is fraught with conflict - but teaching is filled with opportunities to help others develop critical awareness of these conflicts, to play a role in increasing social justice, and yes, sometimes, teaching lets us help students reach their dreams.