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John Alba Cutler

Associate Professor of English; Associate Chair of the Department of English

Ph.D., University of California - Los Angeles


John Alba Cutler (Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 2008) specializes in US Latino/a literatures, multiethnic American poetry, contemporary American literature, and print culture studies. His book Ends of Assimilation: The Formation of Chicano Literature (Oxford, 2015) examines how Chicano/a (Mexican American) literary works represent 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 history of assimilation sociology, which has been blind to its own work as a cultural discourse, examining and illuminating by contrast the myriad ways that Chicano/a literature imagines cultural change.

Professor Cutler is now working on two projects. The first examines the prodigious literary output of US Spanish-language serials in the early twentieth century. Daily newspapers, weekly magazines, literary reviews, and anarchist journals were the primary literary institutions for Latina/o communities during this time period, publishing tens of thousands of original and reprinted poems, short stories, and crónicas. Professor Cutler’s work illuminates an entire field of Latina/o modernism that these serial publications sponsored. The second project focuses on transnational literature of the US-Mexico border, which has proliferated in the years of ramped-up border militarization since the early 1990s. Contemporary literature challenges us to confront the illogic of border militarization and its accompanying cultural shifts.

Professor Cutler has published articles in American Literary HistoryAmerican Literature, MELUS, and Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, among other places. 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, and serves as a series editor for the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. He received the Weinberg College Distinguished Teaching Award in 2013.


Latina & Latino Literature, Critical Race & Ethnicity Studies, Poetry & Poetics, American: 20th Century



"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.

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