Rosa Martinez

Rosa Martinez
Postdoctoral Fellow


Rosa Martinez joined MIT’s Literature Section as a Visiting Scholar in 2014 during her final year of completing a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley. For the 2015-2016 academic year, she will remain at MIT as a SHASS Postdoctoral Fellow.

She is an Americanist whose interest in racial and gendered “passing” in literature and culture spans from the period of Spanish colonization through the twentieth century. Her manuscript, Extravagant Passing: Masquerade in the American Literary Imagination, introduces a confounding performative figure while also extending a theory of extravagance in performance studies. She has published book reviews in JLS, in addition to co-editing a special volume, and also currently has an essay forthcoming in MELUS.

Other research and teaching interests that animate her thinking include: the lover’s (un)becoming; narcissism and psychoanalytic theory; Herman Melville & Don Quixote; autobiographical graphic novels; the souls of black and brown folk; and, drag performances and queer theory.

Nineteenth-century American literature; Chicana/Latina/o literature; African American literature; comparative studies of the Americas; women’s & gender studies.



“he was either a ‘woman or a genius’: Ellen Craft’s Spanish Masquerade in Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom (1860)” in MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States. (Reviewed, forthcoming)


Co-Written, with Sara E. Cooper, “Mmm, Mmm Good … .” Review of Alison Bechdel, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), Journal of Lesbian Studies. (Volume 12, Numbers 2-3, Jul 2008)

Co-Written, with Sara E. Cooper, “Detecting Dangerous Damas.” Review of Catrión Rueda Esquibel, With Her Machete in Her Hand: Reading Chicana Lesbians (U of Texas Press, 2006), Journal of Lesbian Studies. (Volume 10, Numbers 3-4, 2006)

Co-Editor, with Sara E. Cooper, “Lesbian Images in International Popular Culture,” Journal of Lesbian Studies. (Volume 13, Number 1, 2009)

Subjects taught the current academic year:

Subjects taught in recent years:

21L.000[J] Writing About Literature: Writing About Love (Fall 2015)

21L.021 Comedy: Gender, Comedy, and the Body (Spring 2016)