Aja Roberts earned her Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese from Tulane University. Before working at Rice, she taught courses in Spanish at Tulane University for five years. She also instructed Spanish for two years at the University of New Mexico where she earned a M.A. in Spanish and a M.A. in Portuguese. Prior to teaching in higher education, she taught English as a Foreign Language in Nicaragua, and worked for two years as an instructor of Spanish at a private middle school in Portland, Oregon.
Aja's research focuses on contemporary Mexican and Brazilian literature and film. Throughout her Ph.D., she researched the countercultures of Mexico and Brazil and the significant but often overlooked contributions women made to the alternative arts. Aja's interest in bringing attention to underrepresented voices is also a priority in her teaching, and she enjoys introducing her students to a diverse array of cultural production by Latin American writers, musicians, and artists.