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Faculty and Staff

Rosa Soto

Professor • Department of Language, Lit, Culture, and Writing

Dr. Soto is an Associate Professor of English and Latin American and Latinx Studies, who has taught at William Paterson University since 2006. She earned her PhD in English Language & Literature with a specialization in Cultural Studies from the University of Florida, and her MA from the University of Toledo and her BA from Florida State University. Her scholarship focuses on questions of identity and hybridity in Latinx Cultural Studies, with publications including: "Performing Citizenship: Puerto Ricans and their Hybrid "American" Identities," "An Ethnographic Analysis of U.S. Culture and Caribbean Food Practices," and "Made to be a Maid? An Examination of the Latina as Maid in Mainstream Film and Television". She has also won two National Endowment of the Humanities Summer Fellowships (one to study the environment and borderland protection in New Mexico, Mexico and Arizona in 2008 and one to study Jose Marti and Cuban Cigar Factories in Ybor City, Florida in 2019). She is interested in Humanities on a National and State level and promoted such interests by being a Board Member of the New Jersey Council of the Humanities from 2012-2018.

She is an avid traveler, who has traveled to over 23 different countries (including Iceland, Peru, Scotland and Ecuador to name a few) and 5 different continents and spends quite a bit of time traveling to National Parks in the United States.

Languages (other than English)



PhD English Literature, University of Florida ,


Latinx Literature & Cultural Studies, Latin American Studies, African-American Studies, & all-around Generalist at WPU. Diversity & Inclusion. Social Justice. Decolonizing the Syllabus. Radical Teaching. Intersectionality.

Representative Publications

Performing Citizenship: Puerto Ricans and their Hybrid "American" Identities; The Global Citizen: Politics and Policy ; Kendall Hunt Publishing ;

Caribbean Immigrant Women and US Food Practices” What’s Cooking, Mom?; Narratives about Food and Family; Demeter Press; 2015

Made to be a Maid? An Examination of the Latina as Maid in Mainstream Film and Television; Mediated Women: Representation in Popular Culture.; Hampton Press; 2008

Representative Presentations

"Decolonize Your Teaching: It Isn't That Hard"
Northeast Modern Language Association NEMLA
, 2021

Teaching José Martí in the U.S.: Strategies and Practice
1st Biannual Conference of the Center for José Martí Studies Affiliate University of Tampa
, 2021

Dr. Rosa Soto: Decolonizing Your Teaching
Invited Lecture for the Center for Teaching and Learning at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
, 2021

Crossing Borderlands of Latinidad
Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Ms
Boston , MA 2019

Puerto Rico/Puerto Ricans: Global Latino/a participants or disconnected realities?
Latin American Studies Association (LASA)
Barcelona , 2018

Awards and Honors

NEH Summer Institute, “José Martí and the Immigrant Communities of Florida in Cuban Independence and the Dawn of the American Century”
National Endowment for the Humanitites

NEH Summer Institute "Nature and History at the Nation's Edge Field Institute in Environmental & Borderlands History"
National Endowment of Humanities

Notable Courses Taught

Graduate Classes:
Studies in Latinx Literature*
20th Century American Literature
Ethnic American Literature
Women and Autonomy
Literature of African-Americans
Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman

Undergraduate Classes:
Latino/a/x Literature in the United States
Latino/a/x Cultural Studies
Literature of the Harlem Renaissance
African-American Poetry
Literature of American Cultures
Effective Business Writing
Technical Writing
Early American Literature
American Literature from 1865-1914
Modern American Literature
Methods of Literary Analysis
Introduction to Literature

Senior Seminars:
Ethnic American Literature
Banned Books*
American Gothic Fiction*
Activism and Social Protest in Literature*
Dystopias in American Literature*
The American Dream*

*Indicates Course Created by Me

351 Grant Hall

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