Maritza Cárdenas (she/her) is an Associate Professor of English and Director of the Global Studies program at the University of Arizona. She is also an affiliate faculty member in Gender and Women’s Studies, Latin American Studies, the Program in Social Cultural, Critical Theory, Institute of LGBTQ studies and an Executive Committee member for the Human Rights Practice Program. She received her doctorate and master’s degree from the University of Michigan’s program of American Culture, and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California’s department in Comparative Literature. A recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Postdoctoral Fellowship and the CMAS-Benson Latin American Research Fellowship, she is also the elected delegate of the Latina and Latino Literature section for the Modern Languages Association. Dr. Cárdenas is the author of Constituting Central American-Americans: Transnational Identities and the Politics of Dislocation (Rutgers 2018), which highlights the historical, socio-political processes that have facilitated the construction of a pan-ethnic transnational cultural identity (Central American) to emerge in the U.S. diaspora.
Research and Teaching Interests
Dr. Cárdenas’s research and teaching interests focus on US Central Americans, Latinx cultural productions, marginalized identities and subjectivities, disability studies, and transnational community formations. Currently, she is working on a second book project that examines the interconnections between disability studies and Latinx studies by focusing on how disability discourse reinforces ideologies of race, gender/sexuality and normalcy.
In addition to her book Constituting Central American-Americans (2018), Dr. Cárdenas’s work has been published in the anthologies Critical Dialogues in Latinx Studies (2021), U.S. Central Americans: Reconstructing Memories, Struggles, and Communities of Resistance (2017), Race and Contention in Twenty-First Century US Media (2016). She has also published in journals such as Studies in 20th and 21st Century Literature, Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial studies, Symbolism, and Oxford Encyclopedia of Latina/o Literatur