I encountered Ethnic Studies initially during my graduate school years at UC, San Diego. Having arrived from Puerto Rico to pursue a PhD in Literature, the vibrant collaborations between Ethnic Studies and Literature at UCSD proved to be an ideal place to grow as a scholar. I found a home for the undergraduate research agenda on Third World Feminisms, African Diaspora and Black Studies, and Caribbean Studies that led me to pursue graduate studies. Getting involved in interracial activist efforts against the War in Iraq, Homeland Security surveillance and deportation policies, and budget cuts and increase tuition, as well as union organizing and migrants’ rights advocacy work, immersed me in the applied experience of concepts and theories emerging from histories of indigenous and people of color survival and resistance. Joining the Ethnic Studies faculty at U of Oregon was the outcome of those four years spent in San Diego intertwining theoretical training and praxis.
I am a professor of Ethnic Studies who also teaches at the UO Law School Conflict Resolution Program. My book Our Caribbean Kin: Race and Nation in the Neoliberal Antilles (Rutgers University Press, 2015), coins the term transcolonial kinship to describe anti-racist, feminist, and queer modes of solidarity across island borders. My manuscript-in-progress, Oceanic Whispers, Secrets She Never Told, is a creative endeavor that intervenes in conversations about social violence, solidarity, and community healing through storytelling practices and an analytical lens derived from Afro-Caribbean acred ceremonial traditions. Her ongoing research project with Dr. Ana-Maurine Lara, titled Decolonizing Knowledge: AfroIndigenous Caribbean Women Healers, will showcase healers and their ethnobotanical resources through an open-access digital archive sponsored by a Digital Humanities Scholarship (UO Libraries). Digital Humanities have become increasingly relevant to my scholarship. In 2017-2018, I led the digital project The UO Puerto Rico Project: Hurricane Maria and the Aftermath with a student team devoted to collecting stories about Puerto Ricans in the island and Oregon, and develop publicly available educational tools about the natural disaster.
As a public intellectual, I have served as a consultant with the Organization of American States' Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Northwest Youth Corps, School Garden Project, Non-Profit Association of Oregon, Northeast Oregon Economic Development District, and Mobilize Green, among others, on equity, inclusion, and environmental initiatives. I also served on MRG Foundation's Board of Directors and intercultural education initiatives in Centro Bono's migrant justice programs in the Dominican Republic. I am a frequent contributor to HipLatina, a digital publication, and Oregon’s Register Guard. The Ted-talk “Building Intercultural Communities” is widely used in higher ed and community-based educational settings.
A priestess and tradition keeper of regla de ocha and regla conga-Afro-Caribbean spiritual traditions-and founder of the ceremonial space Ilé Estrella de los Mares, I draw from my academic and ceremonial training to foster open conversations about social violence, power, and solidarity. The Ilé honors Caribbean Indigenous, Congo, and Yoruba heritages through transnational educational exchanges. An award-winning teacher, I received the 2015 Ersted Distinguished Teaching Award.
Book manuscript. Our Caribbean Kin: Race and Nation in the Neoliberal Antilles. Rutgers University Press, 2015.
Book manuscript-in-progress. Oceanic Whispers: Sacred Stories of Violence, Justice, and Healing in Diaspora.
"Mangú y Mofongo: Intra-Latinx Subjectivities in Dominican-Puerto Rican Families." Co-author Ana-Maurine Lara. Centro Journal, 2018.
“On Pan-Antillean Politics: Betances and Luperón Speak to the Present.” Callaloo 36.1 (2013): 142–157.
"Afro-descendencia y pan-americanismo en el pensamiento antillanista del siglo diecinueve." Estudios Sociales XLI.154 (May 2013): 29-51.
“Capital neoliberal, raza, migración: relaciones domínico-haitianas y domínico-puertorriqueñas.” Revue Européenne des Migrations Internationales 24.1 (February 2008): 13-34.
Hernández, Ramona and Alaí Reyes-Santos. "The 2009 DSI-Baruch Survey: Interrogating How We Study Dominican Identities in New York City." Revise and re-submit.
Hernández, Ramona y Alaí Reyes-Santos. "Notas sobre identidades étnicas y raciales dominicanas." Afrodescendendientes en México y Nuestra América. Ed. Jesús María Serna e Israel Ugalde Quintana. Centro de Investigaciones sobre América Latina y el Caribe, UNAM: 2019.
“Anowa and Tituba, Witch or Feminist?: A Comparative Study of Two Postcolonial Characters.” African Diasporas: Ancestors, Migrations and Boundaries. Eds. Robert Cancel and Winifred Woodhull. Trenton: Africa World Press, 2008. African Literature Association Annual Series Vol. 14: 115-123.
Creative Essay. “What It Means to Be a Black Latina in Higher Education.” Hip Latina.
Creative Essay. “Echa Pa’Lante”: For Some of Us, Death is Never Too Far Away.” Revista
Bilingüe. Mar. 2017. http://bilingualreview.utsa.edu/index.php/br/article/viewFile/151/107
Digital Humanities Projects
Decolonizing Knowledge: Afro-Indigenous Women Healers in the Caribbean,
(with Ana-Maurine Lara) website of interviews and botanical resources, in-development, 2015-
The UO Puerto Rico Project: Hurricane Maria and Its Aftermath, co-created with UO
Ethnic Studies students, https://uoblogs.uopuertoricoproject.edu/, March 2018
Interviews with Dominican Social Justice Activists, co-produced with Ana-Maurine
Lara, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPHQuj1hkLI, January 2012
IV People’s Summit of the Americas. http://www.caribe-america.blogspot.com/. April 2009.
Op-Ed. “2019: Fear? Despair? Or Embrace Our Creativity?” Register Guard, Feb. 18th, 2019.
Op-Ed. “Black Studies is growing, soul searching.” Register Guard, Jan. 12, 2019.
Op-Ed. “¿Por qué debemos preocuparnos por Puerto Rico?” Translation of Register Guard
op-ed. Revista Caminos, Oregon, Nov. 2017
Op-Ed. “Why Oregon Should Care About Puerto Rico?” Register Guard, October 2017.
Op-Ed. “Violencia Policial y Fantasmas de la Historia.” La Razón, Spain. July 2016.
Invited Blog Entries
Invited Blog Entry. “Our Caribbean Kin,” Bittersweet Blog: Coming Together to the Table,
"Music, Beauty, and Afro-Diasporic Traditions." The Artfullness Project, Jan. 2014,
Our Caribbean Kin, Black Agenda Report, Book Forum, June 27, 2018
School Stories, Latino USA by Maria Hinojosa, Radio Show, NPR, August 25th, 2013.
Applied Research: Equity and Inclusion
City of Eugene Climate Change Action Plan, facilitator of bilingual focus groups with
community members in equity panel and report development, 2019
Klammath Lake and Land Trust, outreach plan with low-income, Native and Latino communities,
Huerto de la Familia, focus group with Latin@/x families, 2018
School Garden Project, facilitation and creation of equity engagement plan with minority
Northeast Oregon Economic Development District, workshop and curriculum for adult
education on equity and inclusion, 2017-2018
Northwest Youth Corps, workshops and professional training, 2014-2017
Non-Profit Association of Oregon, workshop for government officials and non-profits,
Association of American States, consultant for international report on police interactions
with communities of color in the U.S., 2016
Mobilize Green, roundtables on diversity and equity in environmental sector, 2016
Centro Bonó, intercultural Dominicans of Haitian descent youth leadership curriculum, 2013
Fellowships and Awards
Selected Grants and Fellowships
2018 Digital Humanities Fellowship, UO Libraries, U of Oregon
2018 Research Innovation Grant, VPRI, U of Oregon
2018 Research Grant, Center for the Study of Women in Society, U of O
2017 Summer Stipend, Humanities and Creative Arts Faculty, CAS, U of O
2017 Professional Development Grant, Center for Asia Pacific Studies, U of O
2016 Research Grant, Center for Latin@ and Latin American Studies, U of O
2016 Research Grant, Center for the Study of Women in Society, U of O
2016 Oregon Humanities Center Teaching Fellowship, U of Oregon
2015 Golden Key International Honor Society Travel Grant, Australia
2014 Research Grant, Dominican-Puerto Rican Families and Civic Engagement, CUNY’s Dominican Studies Institute and the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, New York City ,
2014 Academic Support Grant, Jordan Schnitzer Museum, U of Oregon
2014 Finalist (of 700 candidates), Transatlantic Leadership Fellowship, Marshall Memorial Fund, Washington D.C.
2010-2011 Faculty Research Fellow (Winter quarter), Oregon Humanities Center, University of Oregon
2010 Faculty Research Grant (Fall quarter), Center for the Study of Women in Society, University of Oregon
2010 Invited Visiting Scholar (Summer), Dominican Studies Institute, City University of New York
2009 Future of Minority Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship (Fall semester), Women's and Gender Studies, Syracuse University
2009 Selected participant in Future of Minority Studies Summer Institute, Transnational Queer Studies, Cornell University, Mellon Foundation
2008 Summer Research Grant, Center for the Study of Women in Society, University of Oregon
2004 Dissertation Field Research Grant, UCSD Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies
Awards and Honors
2016 Distinguished Woman of Achievement, Black Women of Achievement, U of Oregon
2015 Ersted Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Oregon
2015 Guy Alexandre Paper Prize, Haiti-Dominican Republic Section, Latin American Studies Association Conference
2008 Fall Professor of the Term, Mortar Board Society, University of Oregon
2007 Outstanding Faculty Award, Office of Multicultural Advising and Support, University of Oregon
2005 Barbara and Paul Saltman Distinguished Teaching Award, UCSD Academic Senate
- ES 101: Introduction to Ethnic Studies (F06; F07; F08; S11; S12; F13; W14; F14; S15; S17; W18)
- ES 199: Race, Gender, and Globalization (S10)
- ES 199: Race, Ethics, Justice (W17; F2018)
- ES 250: Introduction to African American Studies (W07; W08; W09; W10; S12; F13; W15; W16; W17)
- ENG 254: Survey of Latin@ Literature (W17)
- ES 301: Theoretical Perspectives in Ethnic Studies (F13)
- ES 330: Women of Color Feminisms (W10; W14; W15)
- ES 300: Environmental Racisms (S19)
- ES 399: Caribbean Migrations in the Literary Imagination (S07; W08; S10)
- ES 399: Migrations in Literature and Film (Summer 2007)
- ES 407: Race, Gender, and Globalization (F06; W12)
- ES 442/542: Caribbean Literature and Politics (F08; S11; W14; W15; F18)
- ES 450/560: Race and Sex in Latin@/Latinx Literature (W19)
- ES 410/510: Latin American and Latino/a Cultural Studies (S07)
- ES 499: Ethnic Studies ProSeminar (S09; S16; S17)
- CRES 610: Cross-Cultural Understanding in Conflict Resolution (2018-19)
Ph.D. University of California, San Diego, Literature, 2007
M.A. University of California, San Diego, Spanish, 2004
B.A. University of Puerto Rico, Comparative Literature, magna cum laude, 2001