Professor Laura Lomas Wins 2009 Modern Language Association Prize in U.S. Latina and Latino Literary and Cultural Studies

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Lomas’ book is about the Cuban journalist, poet, and revolutionary José Martí and other Latino migrants living in New York City in the Gilded Age, who translated contemporary North American literary and cultural texts into Spanish. 

In Translating Empire, Lomas discusses how Martí and his fellow editors, activists, orators, and poets were able, through their translations, to be critical of U.S. expansionism and to expose Anglo-American stereotypes of Latin Americans.  Lomas’ book has special relevance to today’s students and scholars of American studies, as the critiques of Marti and his associates in the late 19th century resonate with many of today’s issues surrounding empire, race and colonialism.

 Laura Lomas, a resident of Newark, N.J., has been a member of the faculty at Rutgers University since 2002, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in American Literature, Latina/o Litereature and Culture, Women’s Studies, Literature of the Americas, and more. She has also taught at Penn State University, and at Columbia University, where she received her M.A. and Ph.D.  She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Swarthmore College. In addition to the MLA award, she has been the recipient of a Fulbright fellowship and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  

Media Contact: Helen Paxton


Translating Empire, by Laura Lomas

– Laura Lomas, associate professor of English at Rutgers University, Newark, has received the 2009 Modern Language Association (MLA) Prize in U.S. Latina and Latino and Chicana and Chicano Literary and Cultural Studies.  The award was made for her book, Translating Empire (Duke University Press, 2008), in which she analyzes how late 19th century Latino migrant writers developed a critique of U.S. imperialism through their translations of American literature.