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Ramapo Success Story

“During my tenure at Ramapo I have been moved by our students’ determination to receive a college education. Many of our students must work to pay for ever-rising tuition fees and many others are first-generation in college. Yet they forge ahead, undeterred by the innumerable challenges they face. I also have been impressed by my colleagues’ strong involvement in College affairs. This commitment manifests itself in curricular and extra-curricular innovations; a robust, usually interdisciplinary research agenda tied to teaching; collegial collaboration; and an ongoing search for shared governance. Both students and colleagues have made my years at Ramapo a stimulating, inspiring experience.

Ramapo’s small classes offer the ideal setting for an optimum relationship between faculty and students. I get to know my students well and stay in touch with them years after they graduate. Fostering a keen curiosity about the world is part of what a language and literature professor should excel at. I feel vindicated every time my students take advantage of an opportunity to go abroad—such as a Fulbright scholarship in Spain, a Peace Corps assignment in Ethiopia, or graduate studies in Great Britain. The kind of instruction that is available prepares them for the challenges they encounter abroad and in the United States. A student worked with me recently on translating texts from Spanish into English, a hands-on task with a concrete outcome—the publication of works in translation. Given the culturally-inflected texts, the effort provided a layer of enrichment and nuance to classroom instruction.”

– Iraida is a Professor of Spanish Language and Literature and first joined Ramapo in 2001. For more information, please visit Iraida’s Faculty Page.

Salameno School of Humanities and Global Studies

Recent Publications

Impossible Returns: Narratives of the Cuban Diaspora. Gainesville: University Press of Florida,

Cien botellas en una pared, a critical edition of Ena Lucía Portela’s novel. Doral, Florida:
Stockcero Inc., 2010.

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals:
“Entre el ideal de la nación mestiza y la discordia racial” ‘Memories of a Black Cuban
Childhood’ y otros textos de Lourdes Casal” [Betwixt the Ideal of the Mulatto Nation and
Racial Discord: ‘Memories of a Black Cuban Childhood and other texts by Lourdes Casal].
Forthcoming in Cuban Studies/Estudios Cubanos.

“La vuelta que se repite: representaciones cubanas del retorno en el periodo revolucionario y el
postsoviético” [The Repeating Return: Cuban Representations of Return in the Revolutionary and
Post-Revolutionary Periods]. Revista ZAMA (University of Buenos Aires) 7.7 (2015): 43-53.

“The Notion of Volver in Cuban-American Memoirs: Gustavo Pérez Firmat’s Next Year in Cuba
as a Case of Mistaken Coordinates.” South Atlantic Review 77.3-4 (2015): 59-76.

“Ana Mendieta, treinta años después: al rescate de la memoria” [Ana Mendieta, Thirty Years
After: Recovering Memory]. La Gaceta de Cuba 3 (May-June 2012): 30-37.ños_después_al_rescate_de_la_memoria

“At the Intersection of Latino/a Studies and Latin American Studies in U.S. Colleges and
Universities” (in Russian translation, co-authored with Alexander Kubyshkin). Journal of the
Instituto de Latinoamérica de la Academia de Ciencias de Rusia 10 (Summer 2012): 98-104.

“De regresos y manifiestos: las memorias de una generación de cubano-americanos
entre el exilio y el posnacionalismo” [On Returns and Manifestoes: The Memories of a Generation of Cuban Americans Caught between Exile and Post-Nationalism]. Revista Caribe 13.2 (Winter 2010-2011): 39-52.

“En torno a la novela negra: Poética y política en Cien botellas en una pared” [On Noir: Poetics
and Politics in One Hundred Bottles on the Wall]. La Habana Elegante 48 (Fall-Winter 2010).

“Al filo de la modernidad: las décimas autobiográficas de Violeta Parra como literatura” [At the Edge of Modernity: The Autobiographical Decimas of Violeta Parra as Literature]. Anales de literatura chilena (Universidad Católica de Chile) 11.13 (June 2010): 131-149.

Book Reviews:
On Mette Louise Berg’s Diasporic Generations: Memory, Politics and Nation among Cubans in Spain.  New York: Berghahn Books, 2011.  Forthcoming in Oral History Forum d’Histoire Orale, Special Issue on “Generations and Memory: Continuity and Change”.

On Odette Casamayor Cisneros’s Utopía, distopía e ingravidez: reconfiguraciones cosmológicas en la narrativa postsoviética cubana. Madrid: Iberoamericana-Vervuert, 2013.  Letras femeninasXL.1 (2014): 232-234.

Awards and Accomplishments

Member of the Executive Board of Directors of Cubanabooks, an independent press specializing on Cuban women’s writings. Elected as co-chair of the Cuba Section of the Latin American Studies Association for 2016-2017.

Past 5 years:
Invited to review submissions to Oxford University Press, the University of Texas Press, the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University, the Latin American Research Review,Literatura: Teoría, Historia, Crítica (Universidad Nacional de Colombia), Letras femeninas, Diálogo, and Op.Cit.(Revista del Centro de Investigaciones Históricas de la Universidad de Puerto Rico).


Ph.D., The Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York
M.A., The University of Seville/City University of New York
B.A, Magna Cum Laude, The City College, City University of New York

Classes Known For

Hispanic Caribbean Literature and Pop Culture
Latin New York
Hispanic Women’s Voices and Images
The Capstone Seminar in Spanish