Jose D Saldivar, Director

Jose D Saldivar

José David Saldívar, trained in English and Comparative Literature at Yale University and Stanford University during the late 1970s and early 1980s, is best known for his literary historical analysis of the inter-American novel, US-Mexico border cultural studies, and critical social theory. His first book, The Dialectics of Our America: Genealogy, Cultural Critique, and Literary History (Duke University Press, 1991), explored the dynamics of cross-cultural transculturation in the literature of the Americas. This was followed by the book Criticism in the Borderlands (Duke University Press, 1991), co-edited with Hector Calderon, a book that has garnered considerable interest in the conceptualizations of border theory and border thinking in US Latino/a Studies and related fields. Border Matters: Remapping American Cultural Studies (University of California Press, 1997) wove together Saldívar’s work on the 19th and 20th century Chicano/a literatures, traveling border theory, and experimental ethnography and folklore. The general direction of Saldívar’s recent publications in Cultural Studies, Modern Fiction Studies, Nepantla, and American Literary History, concerns local US literary and cultural processes in relation to the outernational pressures of Americanity, coloniality and power. He is pursuing research on the War of 1898, the Cultures of US Imperialism, Critical Social Theory, and the articulated formations of American Studies, Latinamericanism, and Commonwealth Studies. He is also beginning to write a biography of el rey de rock en español, Carlos Santana.

While the approach is comparative and transnational, a central focus of Saldívar’s work is in the critical formations of Americanity and coloniality. He is presently completing a book provisionally entitled Subaltern Modernities: ‘Americanity,’ Coloniality of Power, and the Cultures of Greater Mexico, and his most recent book is entitled Latin@s in the World-System (co-edited with Ramón Grosfoguel and Nelson Maldonado-Torres), published by Paradigm Press in 2005.

Saldívar has served on the Editorial Board of the University of California Press, and serves on the Advisory Boards of The Futures of Minority Studies Institute, based at Cornell University, and the Townsend Humanities Center at UC, Berkeley. Additionally, he serves on the Editorial Boards of Dkue University Press, American Literary History (ALH), The Global South, and ECHO: A Music-Centered Journal at UCLA. He is the past recipient of a University of California President’s Research fellowship in the Humanities, a William Rice Kimball fellowship at the Stanford Humanities Center, an American Council of Learned Societies fellowship for Study in Modern Society and Values, and a fellowship to the School of Criticism and Theory at Dartmouth College. He has received research fellowships from the Humanities Division and he is the Class of 1942 Professor in the departments of Ethnic Studies and English. In 2003, he received the Distinguished Achievement Award for literary and cultural criticism from the Western Literature Association, and he is the recipient of the 2005 Chicana/ Chicano Scholar Award from the Modern Language Association. Since 2007, he has been the Co-chair of the Berkeley Diversity Research Initiative.

Saldívar arrived at Duke in the Fall of 2007 as Professor of English and Literature, and Director of Latino/a Studies.  He is currently (spring semester, 2008) teaching "Cultures of US Imperialism: War of 1898."

Office Location: 224 Science (Latino/a Studies, East Campus); 314 Allen (English)
Office Hours: 11am -12:30pm Tuesdays at 224 Science (East Campus), 10am -12 pm Thursdays at 314 Allen (West Campus)
Office Phone: 919-668-5321 (Latino/a Studies); 919-684-2741 (English)
Email Address:

Typical Courses Taught: