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Licia Fiol-Matta
Position: Associate Professor and Chair of the Latin American, Latino, and Puerto Rican Studies Department, Lehman College, CUNY, and faculty of the Ph.D. Program in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages at The Graduate Center, CUNY.
Campus Affiliation: Lehman College

Licia Fiol-Matta received an A.B. in Comparative Literature from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Yale University. Before joining CUNY in 2003, she taught at Barnard College. She has taught graduate courses at Columbia University and New York University. Her teaching areas are modern and contemporary Caribbean literary and cultural studies; Latin American Literature; Women’s/Gender Studies; US Latino; Queer Theory; Critical Theory; Popular Culture; Music; and American Studies.  

Professor Fiol-Matta's research bridges several fields and employs diverse methodologies, principally archival research, psychoanalytic theory, and discursive analysis. Her work is interdisciplinary, with an emphasis on literature, media, and music. Her articles have appeared in academic journals in the United States, Latin America, and Spain. She has participated in numerous conferences and she has been a frequent invited lecturer at major research universities in the United States and abroad. She has held grants from the Ford Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others.

 She is the author of the critically acclaimed and widely influential A Queer Mother for the Nation: The State and Gabriela Mistral (University of Minnesota Press, 2002), which combined her interests in Latin American literary and cultural criticism, gender studies, queer theory, and psychoanalysis. She is currently putting the finishing touches to a book manuscript under contract toDuke University Press, tentatively entitled The Politics of Voice, an archive-based study of gender, music culture, and voice in Puerto Rico and its diaspora. In this second book project, Prof. Fiol-Matta brings to bear her research interests in Caribbean and Latino studies, music, popular culture, performance studies, cultural history, and media.

 Prof. Fiol-Matta is co-editor of the series New Directions in Latino American Cultures for Palgrave/Macmillan, which has published over thirty titles. She is a member of the Editorial Collective of Social Text and currently serves on the Division of Women's Studies in Languages and Literatures of the Modern Language Association.

Selected Publications


The Politics of Voice: Gender and Popular Music in Puerto Rico, 1935-1995. Forthcoming, Duke University Press.

A Queer Mother for the Nation: The State and Gabriela Mistral. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002


Selected journal articles:

 “The Thinking Voice. When Listening Trumps Celebrity.” Theories and Methodologies: Celebrity, Notoriety, Fame. PMLA (Publications of the Modern Language Association), 126: 4 (October 2011) 1092–1101

"'Camina como Chencha'. La ética cínica de Myrta Silva." Papel máquina. Revista de cultura (junio 2010), 121-41 

“Chencha’s Gait.” women & performance: a journal of feminist theory 18:3 (November 2008) 287 – 301

“Visions of Gender: Sor Juana and the First Dream.” Nepantla: Views from South 4:2 (July 2003) 345-374.

“Memoria y diáspora en Lydia Cabrera.” Forthcoming, Revista Iberoamericana.

Courses taught at the Graduate Center: 

SPA 87100 Contemporary Caribbean Literature

SPA 87100 Cuban Literature: Republic, Revolution, Globalization