José F. Aranda, Jr.

WEBSITE(S)| Latin American Studies | Spanish and Portuguese | English


  • PhD, Brown University


Research and Teaching

  • Chicano/a and American Literature
  • Latinx Studies
  • Modernity


Recent Courses

  • LASR 158 / SPPO 158 Introduction to Latin American Studies
  • SPPO 354 / SWGS 354 Chicano/a Literature
  • ENGL 300 Practices of Literary Study


José Aranda holds a dual appointment in the Department of English and the Department of Modern and Classical Literatures and Cultures. He is the founding director of Rice’s Program in Latin American and Latinx Studies and also serves as the coordinator for the Mellow Undergraduate Fellowships. He has written articles on nineteenth-century Mexican American literature and the Recovery Project, the future of Chicano/a Studies, and on the relationship between modernity and Mexican American writers from 1848 to 1948. Currently, he is working on a book, tentatively entitled Why I Dreamed of Jeannie But Became a Chicano Instead. This book is a critical exploration of television, popular culture, the Vietnam War, and the news media and the subsequent roles they played in shaping the political and cultural identities of the first generation of Mexican American children to be hailed by the Chicano Movement.

Aranda is a board member of the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project and co-founder of Avanzamos: El Taller Chicana/o, an annual workshop focused on advanced scholarship in Chicana/o Studies, sponsored by Rice University and the University of North Texas. At Rice, he won the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching three times (2019, 2012, and 2005) as well as the Presidential Mentoring Award (2017), and he also held the Allison Sarofim Chair for Distinguished Teaching in the Humanities (2018-20). Aranda was magister of Brown College (2013-18) and magister of Baker College (2004-10).


Selected Publications


1. Books and Edited Volumes

  • The Places of Modernity in Early Mexican American Literature, 1848-1948 (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2022).
  • When We Arrive: A Literary History of Mexican America (Tuscon, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 2003).
  • Ed. with Silvio Torres-Saillant, Recovering the U. S. Literary Heritage, vol. IV (Houston, TX: Arte Público Press, 2002).
  • Ed. with Stephen Tatum and Melody Graulich, Recovering a Mexican American West, special issue of Western American Literature, 35/1(Spring 2000).


2. Journal Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Critical Translation: The Politics and Writings of Jorge Ainslie,” in Antonia Castañeda and Clara Lomas (eds.), Writing/Righting History: Twenty-five Years of Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage (Houston, TX: Arte Público Press, 2020), 441-67.
  • “When Archives Collide: Recovering Modernity in Early Mexican American Literature,” in Rodrigo Lazo and Jesse Alemán (eds.), The Latino Nineteenth Century (New York: New York University Press, 2016), 146-67.
  • “The Recovery Project and the Role of History and Geography in Chicano/a Literary Studies,” in Susan Kollin (ed.), The Cambridge History of Western American Literature (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 31-46.
  • “Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage,” in Suzanne Bost and Frances R. Aparicio (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature (New York: Routledge, 2012), 476-484.
  • “Returning California to the People: Vigilantism in María Amparo Ruiz de Burton’s The Squatter and the Don,” in Amelia María de la Luz Montes and Anne Elizabeth Goldman (eds.), María Amparo Ruiz de Burton: Critical and Pedagogical Perspectives (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2004), 11-26.
  • “Contradictory Impulses: María Amparo Ruiz de Burton, Resistance Theory, and the Politics of Chicano/a Studies,” in Cathy N. Davidson and Jessamyn Hatcher (eds.), No More Separate Spheres! A Next Wave American Studies Reader (Durham, NC:  Duke University Press, 2002), 121-48.


                               Aranda book1                  Aranda book2                  Aranda book3