Rodrigo Lazo

picture of Rodrigo  Lazo

Professor, English

Ph.D., University of Maryland, English
M.S., Columbia University, Journalism
B.A., Occidental College, 1986

Phone: (949) 824-4830
Fax: (949) 824-2916

University of California, Irvine
3114 Humanities Gateway
Mail Code: 2605
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
American Studies; Latino Studies; Nineteenth-Century US Literature and Culture; Hemispheric American Studies; Immigrant/Migrant Fiction
Research Abstract
My research is highly interdisciplinary and is in dialogue with American literature, Latino studies, and Latin American studies. My latest book, Letters from Filadelfia: Early Latino Literature and the Trans-American Elite, will be published in January, 2020. This book focuses on Spanish-language writing published in Philadelphia in the early nineteenth century and offers a detailed study of a hemispheric public sphere that veers away from the excessively Anglophone and Anglocentric conceptions of traditional American literature and culture. You can also see my work in an edited collection of articles called The Latino Nineteenth Century, which brings together prominent scholars working in the archival recovery and comparative textual analysis of writing by Latinos and Latinas who lived in the United States from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries. Other research projects include articles on archive theory and representations of torture in culture.

My administrative work includes four years as associate dean of Humanities. From 2016-2019, I directed the Humanities Core Program, a yearlong introduction to the humanities for first-year students. The theme was "Empire and Its Ruins," and I lecture alongside faculty from history, classics, English, comparative literature, and Asian American studies. After more than 15 years as a professor, I find the most rewarding part of academia is interacting with students and helping them with their research and writing. In 2012, I was honored to receive an award from the UCI Associated Graduate Students for my contributions as a mentor.

Prior to coming to UC Irvine in 2004, I taught at Miami University. In a previous life I attended Columbia University’s School of Journalism and worked as a reporter at the Miami Herald.

Letters from Filadelfia: Early Latino Literature and the Trans-American Elite. University of Virginia Press, 2020.
Edited Collection

The Latino Nineteenth Century. NYU Press, 2016

Writing to Cuba: Filibustering and Cuban Exiles in the United States. University of North Carolina Press, 2005.
Selected Articles:

"The Invention of America Again: On the Impossibility of an Archive" American Literary History 25 (2013): 751-771.
"Confederates in the Hispanic Attic: The Archive Against Itself" in On Moving Ground. Edited by Dana Luciano and Ivy Wilson (NYU Press, 2014)
"Migrant Archives," in States of Emergency. Edited by Russ Castronovo and Susan Gillman. 2009.
"Oscar Hijuelos, Writer of Work," in Contemporary U.S. Latino/a Criticism. Edited by Lyn Di Orio Sandin and Richard Perez. 2007.
"La Famosa Filadelfia: The Hemispheric American City and Constitutional Debates," In Hemispheric American Studies. Edited by Caroline Levander and Robert S. Levine. 2008.
"'So Spanishly Poetic': Moby-Dick's Doubloon and Latin America," in Ungraspable Phantom: Essays on Moby-Dick, ed. John Bryant, Mar K. Bercaw, and Timothy Marr. (Kent State, 2005)
"Filibustering Cuba: Cecilia Valdés and a Memory of Nation in the Americas," American Literature 74 (March 2002): 1-30.
"Los Filibusteros: Cuban Writers in the United States and Deterritorialized Print Culture" American Literary History 15 (January 2003): 87-106.
National Endowment for the Humanities, 2001-2002
Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Project, 1997
Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 2005
Professional Societies
Modern Language Association
American Studies Association
Latin American Studies Association
Melville Society
American Antiquarian Society
Other Experience
Associate Dean of Humanities
UC Irvine 2007—2010

Director, Humanities Core Program
UC Irvine 2016—2019

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