John Alba Cutler Associate Professor of English; Associate Chair of the Department of English

John Alba Cutler (Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 2008) specializes in US Latino literatures, multiethnic American poetry, contemporary American literature, and print culture studies. His book Ends of Assimilation: The Formation of Chicano Literature, published by Oxford University Press, examines how Chicano/a (Mexican American) literary works represent processes of assimilation, and what those representations can teach us about race, gender, and the nature of literary discourse. Ends of Assimilation argues that Chicano/a literature illuminates and critiques the historical consolidation of assimilation as a sociological discourse, but also that assimilation discourse helps to clarify the myriad ways that Chicano/a literature imagines cultural change.

Professor Cutler is now working on a new book investigating theories of competition in relation to late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Latino/a print culture. This book will illuminate a virtually forgotten archive of poetry and fiction published in Spanish-language newspapers in the United States, asking what value literature held in the intense rivalry for attention and readership among these periodicals. Collectively, these literary works pose the question of what it means to produce art within the constraints of economic and cultural competition.

Professor Cutler has published articles in American Literary HistoryAmerican Literature, MELUS, and Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies. He is a core faculty member of the Latina and Latino Studies Program and a member of the Latina and Latino Literature Executive Committee for the Modern Language Association, as well as the Board of Directors of the Recovering the US-Hispanic Literary Heritage Project. He is active in the Poetry & Poetics Colloquium as well, and serves as a series editor for the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. He received the Weinberg College Distinguished Teaching Award in 2013.


Books


Essays

"Quinto Sol, Chicano Literature, and the Long March Through Institutions," American Literary History 26 (Summer 2014): 262-294.

“Confronting Frontier and Industrial Violence: Latino Narratives,” The Heath Anthology of American Literature 7th Edition, Volume C, ed. Paul Lauter (Boston: Wadsworth Cengage, 2013): 999-1014.

“Eusebio Chacón’s America,” MELUS 36 (Spring 2011): 109-134.

“Disappeared Men: Chicana/o Authenticity and the American War in Viet Nam,”American Literature 81 (September 2009): 583-611.

“Prosthesis, Surrogation, and Relation in Arturo Islas’s The Rain God,” Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies 33 (Spring 2008): 7-32.