Dr. Keishla (Kay-shla) Rivera-Lopez received a PhD in American Studies at the Graduate School-Newark at Rutgers University where she was a 2019-2020 Dean’s Dissertation Fellow to finish her dissertation project titled “Writing Freedom: Puerto Rican Women’s Literary Conceptualizations of Motherhood and Memory Beyond Archives.” She received her B.A. in Latino Hispanic Caribbean Studies and American Studies in 2015 from Rutgers University-New Brunswick where she was a Ronald E. McNair scholar. She was born and raised in Newark, NJ to Puerto Rican migrants and reflects on what it means to be a child of diaspora in her scholarship and writing. Currently, Dr. Rivera-Lopez is an Assistant Professor of English and Latinx Literatures and Cultures at Millersville University.
During the 2017-2018 academic year she was a teaching fellow for the Honors Living-Learning Community, a unique college-access program that is redefining what it means to be an honors student and honors college program. She was a 2019 Summer Dissertation Fellow at The Center For Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College where she completed a writing and research residency. During her final semester at The Graduate School-Newark, Dr. Rivera-Lopez was a graduate student mentor in the Mellon-Price Humanities Scholars Program that aimed to assist HLLC undergraduate scholars navigate college.
PhD in American Studies from The Graduate School-Newark at Rutgers University
BA in Latino and Caribbean Studies and American Studies from Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Dr. Rivera-Lopez’s specialty lies in interdisciplinary cultural and literary study situated in American Studies, Puerto Rican Studies, Latinx Studies, and Caribbean Diasporic Studies.
PASSIONS & DISTRACTIONS
In her free time Dr. Rivera-Lopez enjoys writing poetry, short-stories, and essays from her travel and everyday experiences as a Puerto Rican woman in diaspora. She also enjoys experimenting with different sazons and sofritos in the kitchen, hiking, dancing, and traveling.
- “Reading Our World: Latinx Literature”
- “Puerto Rican Literature: (Re)Writing Home and the Nation”
- “English Composition: Writing Home and Self”
- “Introduction to Latinx Studies”
- “Introduction to Caribbean Literature”
- “Introduction to Caribbean Studies”
- “Introduction to American Studies”
- “Mothers of the Grand House: Race, Motherhood, & Memory in Puerto Rican Historical Fiction,” Hispanófila Journal, June 2020.
- “Both a Grad Student and Instructor: Advocating for Compassionate Teaching During a Global Health Pandemic,” Progressive Pedagogy: A Guide for Active Learning, June 20, 2020.
- “Dispatch from Fireball in Newark: The Ballroom Scene and Legendary Houses,” co-authored with Naomi Extra & Kristyn Scorsone, NOTCHES, May 12, 2016.
Her research interests and include contemporary U.S. Latinx Studies and literature, Puerto Rican Studies, and Caribbean Diaspora Studies with a focus on culture, gender, race, configurations of the body, the (maternal) body, Afro-Latinidad, communal trauma, and identity.