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Juan Rodriguez Barrera

Office Hours:

Mon: 10:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
Fri: 10:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.

Assistant Professor of English


Juan Rodriguez Barrera

Ph.D., American Culture, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, 2023
B.S., Criminal Justice & English, Rutgers University-Newark, 2013
A.A. Criminal Justice, Hudson County Community College, 2004

Courses Frequently Taught:
English 170: Multicultural Literature
English 352: American Literature after 1865

Rackham Graduate School Predoctoral Fellow, 2022-2023
Rackham Graduate School Merit Fellow, 2017-2022

Selected Publications:

Peer-Reviewed Articles:
"The Disalienating Realism of William Attaway's Blood on the Forge: Rethinking Black Chicago Renaissance Aesthetics." African American Review 55.1 (Spring 2022): 51-67.
"'Tightrope of Words': Self-Censorship in Langston Hughes' Account of the Spanish Civil War in I Wonder as I Wander.Science & Society 81.2 (April 2017): 172-96.

Book Chapter:
"From the Sublime to the Grotesque: Red Langston Reconsidered." Langston Hughes in Context. Eds. Vera Kutzinski and Anthony Reed. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2022. 94-103. 

Scholarly Reviews:
Roots of the Black Chicago Renaissance: New Negro Writers, Artists, and Intellectuals, 1893-1930, eds. Richard A. Courage and Christpher Robert Reed. Science & Society 85.4 (October 2021): 544-46. 
Letters from Langston: From the Harlem Renaissance to the Red Scare and Beyond, eds. Evelyn Louise Crawford and MaryLouise Patterson. Science & Society 82.3 (July 2018): 451-53.


Professional and Personal:
Existing at the intersection of American and African American studies, my scholarship and teaching focus broadly on literary multiculturalism and 20th-century African American culture, literature, and history, with a particular emphasis on the Black literary Left of the Great Depression and Cold War eras. In recent years, I have been especially fascinated by the Black Chicago Renaissance, a relatively overlooked moment of cultural efflorescence among African American writers, artists, and intellectuals that spanned the 1930s and 1940s. My work often blends archival research and intellectual and literary histories to illuminate the production and reception of politically engaged literary texts, including those written by forgotten authors. As a teacher, I aim to foster what Paulo Freire once termed critical consciousness, the ability "to perceive social, political, and economic contradictions and to take action against those oppressive elements." My interests include writing (mainly poetry and short fiction), reading, playing story-rich video games, collecting Lego sets, and spending time with my wonderful spouse and our two feline children.