Bio


José David Saldívar is a scholar of late postcontemporary culture, especially the minoritized literatures of the United States, Latin America, and the transamerican hemisphere, and of border narrative and poetics from the sixteenth century to the present.

He is the author of The Dialectics of Our America: Genealogy, Cultural Critique, and Literary History (Duke University Press, 1991), Border Matters: Remapping American Cultural Studies (University of California Press, 1997), and Trans-Americanity: Subaltern Modernities, Global Coloniality, and the Cultures of Greater Mexico (Duke University Press, 2012),coeditor (with Monica Hanna and Jennifer Harford Vargas) of Junot Díaz and the Decolonial Imagination (Duke University Press, 2016) coeditor (with Héctor Calderón) of Criticism in the Borderlands (Duke University Press, 1991), and editor of The Rolando Hinojosa Reader (Arte Público Press, 1985).

Additionally, he has published numerous articles in journals such as Cultural Studies, American Literary History, The Americas Review, Revista Casa de las Américas, Daedalus, Modern Fiction Studies, and The Global South. He has served on the editorial boards of Duke University Press, the University of California Press, and currently serves on the editorial boards of the journals American Literary History, The Global South, Aztlan, and World Knowledges Otherwise. He has received personal research grants from The Ford Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the University of California President's Research Fellowship in the Humanities, the William Rice Kimball Fellowship, Stanford Humanities Center, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford (invitation for a future visit).

His teaching is divided evenly between graduate seminars and undergraduate courses, and some of his undergraduate courses are cross-listed in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.

In 2003, he received the Distinguished Achievement Award for Literary and Cultural Criticism from the Western Literature Association; in 2005, he received the Chicano Scholar of the Year Award from the Modern Language Association; in 2007 he received the Sarlo Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring Award from the University of California, Berkeley; and in 2016, he was the winner of the American Literature Society’s highest honor, the Jay B. Hubbell Medal. The medal is sponsored by the American Literature Society, an allied organization of the Modern Language Association, and is awarded annually to one “scholar whose lifetime of scholarly work has significantly advanced the study of American literature.” . Before coming to Stanford in January 2010, Saldívar was the Class of 1942 Professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

Academic Appointments


  • Professor, Comparative Literature
  • Professor (By courtesy), Iberian and Latin American Cultures

Honors & Awards


  • Distinguished Achievement Award, Western Literature Association (2003)
  • Chicana/Chicano Scholar Award, Modern Language Association (2005)
  • Sarlo Distinguished Graduate Mentoring Award, Graduate Division and the Academic Senate, University of California, Berkeley (2007)
  • Jay B. Hubbell Medal, American Literature Society (Modern Language Association) (2016)
  • Leon Sloss, Jr. Professor, Stanford University (2016)
  • Class of 1942 Professor of the Departments of Ethnic Studies and English, University of California, Berkeley
  • Fellowship, School of Criticism and Theory, Dartmouth College
  • Fellowship for Study in Modern Society and Values, American Council of Learned Societies
  • President's Research Fellowship in the Humanities, University of California, Berkeley
  • Research Fellowship, Humanities Division, University of California, Berkeley
  • William Rice Kimball Fellowship, Stanford Humanities Center, Stanford University

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Member of Editorial Press Board, Stanford University Press (2017 - Present)
  • Member of Advisory Board, Townsend Humanities Center, University of California, Berkeley
  • Member of Advisory Board, Futures of Minority Studies Institute, Cornell University
  • Member of Editorial Board, Duke University Press
  • Member of Editorial Board, University of California Press
  • Member of Editorial Board, ECHO: A Music-Centered Journal, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Member of Editorial Board, The Global South
  • Member of Editorial Board, American Literary History (ALH)

Program Affiliations


  • Modern Thought and Literature

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., Stanford University, English (Comparative Literature, Minor) (1983)
  • M.A., Stanford University, English (1979)
  • B.A., Yale University, Literature (1977)

2019-20 Courses


Stanford Advisees


  • Doctoral Dissertation Reader (AC)
    Cynthia Garcia, Luz Jimenez Ruvalcaba, Jonathan Leal
  • Doctoral Dissertation Advisor (AC)
    Cristopher Vazquez Munoz
  • Doctoral Dissertation Co-Advisor (NonAC)
    Melanie Leon

All Publications


  • Making democracy surreal: Political race and The 'Miner's Canary' AMERICAN LITERARY HISTORY Saldivar, J. D. 2008; 20 (3): 609-621

    View details for DOI 10.1093/alh/ajn031

    View details for Web of Science ID 000259169900020

  • The Hybridity of Culture in Arturo Islas' The Rain God Critical Mapping of Arturo Islas' Fictions Saldívar, J. D. edited by Aldama, F. L. Tempe: Bilingual Press. 2008: 21–38
  • Unsettling race, coloniality, and caste - Anzaldua's Borderlands/La Frontera, Martinez's Parrot in the Oven, and Roy's The God of Small Things Workshop on Coloniality of Power and De-Colonial Thinking Saldivar, J. D. ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD. 2007: 339–67
  • Border Thinking, Minoritized Studies, and Realist Interpellations: the Coloniality of Power from Gloria Anzaldúa to Arundhati Roy Identity Politics Reconsidered Saldívar, J. D. edited by Mohanty, S., Alcoff, L. M., Hames-García, M., Moya, P. New York: Palgrave. 2006: 152–170