Research Expertise and Interest
Chicanx Latinx Studies, poetry
John Alba Cutler is an associate professor in the Department of English. He researches in the fields of Chicano/a/x and Latino/a/x literature and culture; his teaching comprises courses in these fields as well as in modern and contemporary American literature. His book Ends of Assimilation: The Formation of Chicano Literature (Oxford, 2015) argues that Chicano/a literature provides a powerful counter-discourse to sociological accounts of assimilation in the post-WWII era. He is now working on a book tentatively titled “Latinx Modernism and the Spirit of Latinoamericanismo,” which examines the influence of Latin American modernismo on Spanish-language newspaper literature in the early twentieth century. The book shows how encounters with modernismo allowed Latino/a/x writers and readers to grapple with the conflicting legacies of Spanish and US coloniality. It also continues the first book’s investigation into literary institutions and in the generative (rather than merely representational) power of literary discourse. He is the co-editor of a forthcoming volume from Cambridge in the series Latinx Literature in Transition. Cutler has also published articles on Chicano/a/x and Latino/a/x literature and culture in such journals as American Literary History, English Language Notes, and Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, and has contributed chapters to the Cambridge Companion to Transnational American Literature, American Poets in the 21st Century: Poetics of Social Engagement, and Culturas de la prensa en México. His research has been supported by fellowships from the Alice B. Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and the American Council of Learned Societies. Before coming to Berkeley in 2021, Cutler spent more than a decade at Northwestern University, where he was recognized with a Weinberg College Distinguished Teaching Award in 2013.