Bio


Ramón Saldívar, professor of English and Comparative Literature and the Hoagland Family Professor of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama in 2012. He is Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Studies, and has served as Chair of the Department of English and the Department of Comparative Literature at Stanford University. Currently the Burke Family Director of the Bing Overseas Studies Program at Stanford, he has also served as the Director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity. His teaching and research focus on the areas of literary criticism and literary theory, the history of the novel, 19th and early 20th century literary studies, cultural studies, globalization and issues concerning transnationalism, and Chicano and Chicana studies. In March 2013 President Obama appointed him to a six -year term on the National Council on the Humanities.

Professor Saldívar has served on the editorial boards of Stanford University Press and the scholarly journals, American Literary History, American Literature, Aztlán, and Modern Fiction Studies. His articles have appeared in PMLA, American Literary History, Narrative, Modern Language Notes (MLN), English Literary History (ELH), Comparative Literature, Diacritics, Studies in the Novel, The South Atlantic Quarterly, Modern Fiction Studies, and other major journals. He is author of Figural Language in the Novel: The Flowers of Speech from Cervantes to Joyce (1984), a study of the authority of meaning in the novel, Chicano Narrative: The Dialectics of Difference (1990), a history of the development of Chicano narrative forms, and The Borderlands of Culture: Américo Paredes and the Transnational Imaginary (Duke University Press, 2006), which was awarded the MLA prize for best book in the area of Chicano/Chicana and Latino/Latina Cultural and Literary Studies. His new book, The Imaginary and Its Worlds: American Studies after the Transnational Turn, co-edited with Laura Bieger and Johannes Voelz, will appear in Spring 2013 from the University Press of New England. He is currently at work on two new book projects, Race, Narrative Theory and Contemporary American Fiction and Américo Paredes and the Post-war Writings from Asia.

Professor Saldívar is a recipient of the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education and the Lillian and Thomas B. Rhodes Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. He served as Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Stanford University from 1994-99.

Academic Appointments


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

Administrative Appointments


  • Fellow in Undergraduate Education, Bass University (2012 - Present)
  • The Hoagland Family Professor of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University (2012 - Present)
  • Fellow in Undergraduate Education, Milligan Family University (2002 - 2012)
  • The Hoagland Family Professor of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University (1999 - Present)
  • Professor, Departments of English & Comparative Literature, Stanford University (1991 - Present)
  • Professor, Department of English, University of Texas at Austin (1988 - 1991)
  • Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Texas at Austin (1983 - 1988)
  • URI Faculty Research Assignment, University of Texas (1978 - 1978)
  • Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Texas at Austin (1976 - 1983)
  • Danforth Fellow, Yale University (1972 - 1976)
  • Ford Foundation Doctoral Fellowship, Yale University (1972 - 1976)

Honors & Awards


  • National Council on the Humanities Appointment, President Barack Obama, United States (2013-)
  • National Humanities Medal, National Endowment for the Humanities (2012)
  • Awarded Fifth Annual Modern Language Association Prize, Modern Language Association (2007)
  • Named Distinguished Scholar (career achievement for leadership and scholarship), Division on Chicana and Chicano Literature of the Modern Language Association (2007)
  • Distinguished Achievement Award, The Western Literature Association (2003)
  • Brackenridge Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities, University of Texas, San Antonio (2001)
  • Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education, Stanford University (1998)
  • Lillian and Thomas B. Rhodes Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Stanford University (1994)
  • Association of Graduate Students of English Teaching Excellence, nominee, University of Texas (1986-1990)
  • Dallas TACA Centennial Teaching Fellowship in Liberal Arts, University of Texas (1986-1987)
  • Guggenheim Fellowship, Guggenheim Foundation (1985)
  • University Research Institute (URI) Faculty Research Assignment, University of Texas (1985)
  • President's Associates Teaching Excellence Award in Composition, University of Texas (1982)
  • Association of Graduate Students of English Teaching Excellence, University of Texas (1981)
  • University of Texas, University of Texas (1981)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Member, Editorial Board, ASAP Journal (Journal of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present) (2014 - Present)
  • Member, Editorial Board, American Literary History (ALH) (2013 - Present)
  • Burke Family Director, Bing Overseas Studies Program, Stanford University (2012 - Present)
  • Director, Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity, Stanford University (2011 - 2012)
  • Chair, Department of English, Stanford University (2005 - 2008)
  • Member, Editorial Board, Modern Fiction Studies (2003 - Present)
  • Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR), Stanford University (2002 - 2005)
  • Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR), Stanford University (2010 - 2011)
  • Member, Editorial Board, Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies (2001 - 2003)
  • Visiting Lecturer, Japanese Association of American Studies (JAAS) (2003 - 2003)
  • Visiting Lecturer, Kobe University (Kobe) (2003 - 2003)
  • Visiting Lecturer, Ritsumeikan University (Kyoto) (2003 - 2003)
  • Visiting Lecturer, Aichi Prefectural University (Nagoya) (2003 - 2003)
  • Visiting Lecturer, Tokyo University (2003 - 2003)
  • Visiting Lecturer, Tsuda College (Tokyo) (2003 - 2003)
  • Chairman, Department of Comparative Literature, Stanford University (2001 - 2002)
  • Chair, Modern Language Association's William Riley Parker Outstanding Article in PMLA Selection Committee (2002 - 2002)
  • Chair, Stanford University Advisory Board (2001 - 2004)
  • Member, American Quarterly Advisory Board (2000 - 2003)
  • Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Education, Stanford University (1994 - 1999)
  • Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, College of Humanities & Sciences, Stanford University (1994 - 1999)
  • Member, National Nominating Committee of Phi Beta Kappa (1998 - 1998)
  • Member, Board of Governors, University of California Humanities Research Institute (1994 - 1997)
  • Member, Executive Committee, 20th Century American Literature Executive Council, Modern Language Association (1996 - 1999)
  • Member, Executive Council, American Studies Association (1993 - 1995)
  • Member, Editorial Board, American Literature (1993 - 1995)
  • Advisory Committee member, Stanford Humanities Review (1992 - 1995)
  • Member, Public Outreach Project, Stanford University (1992 - 1996)
  • Director, Chicano Fellows, Undergraduate Chicano Studies Program, Stanford University (1993 - 1994)
  • Member, Editorial Board, Stanford University Press (1992 - 1994)
  • Resident Fellow, Roble Hall, Stanford University (1992 - 1994)
  • Convener, Program for Faculty Renewal, Lilly Foundation, Stanford University (1992 - 1992)
  • Director, Inter-University Project on Latino Research, Qualitative Research Seminar (1989 - 1989)
  • Staff Lecturer, University of Texas Oxford Summer Program, Brasenose College (1988 - 1988)
  • Acting Director, Center for Mexican American Studies (1985 - 1985)
  • Book Review Editor, Studies in the Novel (1980 - 1983)
  • Co-Chair, Taks Force on Expansion of Undergraduate Program, Stanford University (2007 - 2008)
  • Faculty Athletic Representative, Pacific 10 Conference and the NCAA, Stanford University (2003 - 2005)
  • Faculty Athletic Representative, Pacific 10 Conference and the NCAA, Stanford University (2010 - 2010)
  • Member, Stanford University Advisory Board (2001 - 2003)
  • Member, Stanford University Advisory Board (2010 - Present)
  • Member, Stanford University Academic Council Senate (2000 - 2003)
  • Member, Stanford University Academic Council Senate (2010 - Present)
  • Member, Stanford University Board of Trustees Task Force on Minority Alumni Relations (2001 - 2003)
  • Member, School of Humanities & Sciences Diversity Task Force (1999 - 2000)
  • Co-Chair, School of Humanities & Sciences Advisory Committee on the Curriculum (1994 - 1999)
  • Member, School of Humanities & Sciences Appointments and Promotions Committee (1994 - 1999)
  • Member, Committee on Undergraduate Studies, Stanford University (1994 - 1999)
  • Member, Committee on Academic Achievement and Assessment, Stanford University (1994 - 1999)
  • Member, Faculty Senate, Stanford University (1994 - 1999)
  • Member, Faculty Senate, Stanford University (2010 - Present)
  • Chair, Task Force on Housing and Residential Education Programs, Stanford University (1996 - 1997)
  • Chair, Undergraduate Advising Task Force, Stanford University (1995 - 1995)
  • Chair, Chicano Studies Program Committee, Stanford University (1994 - 1995)
  • Member, Arnice P. Strait Award Committee, Stanford University (1994 - 1994)
  • Member, Resident Fellows Advisory Group, Stanford University (1994 - 1994)
  • Member, Culture and Cultures Committee, Stanford University (1994 - 1994)
  • Director, Chicano Fellows Program, Stanford University (1993 - 1993)
  • Member, Executive Committee, Stanford Center for Chicano Research, Stanford University (1993 - 1994)
  • Member, Undergraduate Advising Review Committee, Stanford University (1993 - 1993)
  • Member, Planning and Policy Board, Stanford University (1993 - 1996)
  • Member, Asian Languages & Literatures Faculty Search Committee, Stanford University (1993 - 1993)
  • Member, Executive Committee, Program in Modern Thought & Literature, Stanford University (1992 - 1999)
  • Member, Graduate Admissions Committee, Program in Modern Thought & Literature, Stanford University (1992 - 1995)
  • Member, Editorial Board, Stanford University Press (1992 - 1994)
  • Member, Public Outreach Project, Stanford University (1992 - 1994)
  • Co-Chair, Chicana/o and African-American Faculty Search Committee, Dept. of English, Stanford University (1992 - 1993)
  • Director of Libraries Search Committee, Stanford University (1992 - 1993)
  • Member, Ad Hoc Recruitment Priorities Committee, Department of English, Stanford University (1992 - 1992)
  • Member, Long Term Planning Committee, Department of English, Stanford University (1992 - 1993)
  • Member, Guiding Consilio, El Centro Chicano, Stanford University (1991 - 1993)
  • Member, Graduate Studies Committee, Department of English, Stanford University (1991 - 1992)
  • Member, Committee on the Future of the Humanities at Stanford University (1991 - 1992)
  • Member, Chicano Faculty Caucus, Stanford University (1991 - Present)
  • Member, Admissions Committee, Program in Modern Thought & Literature, Stanford University (1991 - 1992)
  • Member, Individually Designed Majors, Stanford Advising Center, Stanford University (1991 - 1992)
  • Chair, Minority Policy Committee, Department of English, University of Texas at Austin (1990 - 1990)
  • Member, Recruitment Committee, Department of English, University of Texas at Austin (1990 - 1990)
  • Executive Committee, Member, Department of English, University of Texas at Austin (1986 - 1988)
  • Co-chair, Recruitment Committee, Department of English, University of Texas at Austin (1986 - 1987)
  • Member, University Council, University of Texas at Austin (1981 - 1985)
  • Member, Faculty Senate, University of Texas at Austin (1981 - 1985)
  • Member, Plan II Committee, University of Texas at Austin (1983 - 1989)
  • Graduate Adviser, Comparative Literature, University of Texas at Austin (1983 - 1984)
  • Associate Graduate Adviser, English, University of Texas at Austin (1989 - 1990)
  • Minority Liaison Officer, Comparative Literature, University of Texas at Austin (1983 - 1985)
  • Member, Comparative Literature Course Committee, University of Texas at Austin (1980 - 1982)
  • Member, Comparative Literature Course Committee, University of Texas at Austin (1983 - 1985)
  • Comparative Literature GSC Secretary, University of Texas at Austin (1980 - 1981)
  • Coordinator for Humanities Programming, Center for Mexican American Studies, University of Texas at Austin (1981 - 1983)
  • Member, Comparative Literature Graduate Studies Committee, University of Texas at Austin (1976 - Present)
  • Coordinator, E306 & E307 for Mexican American students, University of Texas at Austin (1981 - 1984)
  • Member, English Graduate Studies Committee, University of Texas at Austin (1978 - Present)
  • Member, University Parking and Traffic Committee, University of Texas at Austin (1980 - 1982)
  • Member, English Departmental Senate, University of Texas at Austin (1981 - 1982)
  • Member, English Executive Committee, University of Texas at Austin (1980 - 1981)
  • Member, English Faculty Travel Funds, University of Texas at Austin (1980 - 1981)
  • Member, English Faculty Travel Funds, University of Texas at Austin (1983 - 1985)
  • Mexican American Studies Advisory Council, University of Texas at Austin (1978 - 1981)
  • Member, Mexican American Studies Advisory Council, University of Texas at Austin (1984 - 1985)
  • Member, Freshman English Policy Committee, University of Texas at Austin (1976 - 1978)
  • Member, Chicano Faculty Caucus, University of Texas at Austin
  • Member, University Minority Faculty Recruitment and Retention Committee, University of Texas at Austin (1987 - 1989)

Program Affiliations


  • Center for Latin American Studies
  • Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • Modern Thought and Literature

Professional Education


  • B.A., University of Texas at Austin (1972)
  • M.Phil, Yale University (1975)
  • Ph.D., Yale University, Comparative Literature (1977)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


My current research is concerned with the relationships among race, form, genre, representing what Jeffrey T. Nealon has recently term the “post-postmodern.” In the latest version of this research presented at the John-F.-Kennedy-Institut für Nordamerikastudien, Freie Universität Berlin I use Sesshu Foster's "Atomik Aztex" as an example twenty-first century racial imaginaries. Part fantasy, part hallucinatory sur-realism, part muckraking novel in the grand realist protest tradition of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle (1906), part historical novel in the mode of Vassily Grossman’s great Stalinist era masterpiece, Life & Fate (1980) set during the battle of Stalingrad, part ethnographic history about religious, military, and social structure of the pre-Columbian Aztec (Nahua, Mexica) world, part LA noir, and wholly Science Fiction alternative and counterfactual history, it exemplifies many of the criteria of the “post-postmodern.” Moreover, in addition to this range of formal matters, Atomik Aztex is concerned with two other topics:
•a reconceptualization of the way that race affects the formations of history, and
•the reshaping of the form of the novel in order to represent that reconceptualization.
With eighty-two characters populating the story, itself a plotted compendium of at least two radically separate yet intertwined universes of action, in a continually shifting movement from past, present, and future times, Atomik Aztex is a radical experiment in novelistic form. Using the tools of quantitative formalism developed for literary use by the Stanford University Literary Lab, I wish to show how the work of the computational humanities, in conjunction with traditional hermeneutic methods of literary analysis can help us understand the radical turn of contemporary American fiction toward speculative realism.

Projects


  • The Racial Imaginary: Speculative Realism and Historical Fantasy in Contemporary Ethnic Fiction, Stanford University

    My current work focuses on the relationship among twenty-first century racial imaginaries, narrative form, and genre in contemporary American Fiction.

    Location

    Stanford, California

2018-19 Courses


Stanford Advisees


All Publications


  • COMPARING MODERN LITERATURES WORLDWIDE: THE TRANSAMERICAN VIEW COMPARATIVE LITERATURE STUDIES Saldivar, R. 2013; 50 (2): 199-203
  • The Second Elevation of the Novel: Race, Form, and the Postrace Aesthetic in Contemporary Narrative NARRATIVE Saldivar, R. 2013; 21 (1): 1-18
  • The Work of Criticism in Journal Refereeing PMLA-PUBLICATIONS OF THE MODERN LANGUAGE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA Saldivar, R. 2012; 127 (4): 963-967
  • The Work of Criticism in Journal Refereeing PMLA Saldivar, R. 2012; 127 (4): 963-967
  • Historical Fantasy, Speculative Realism, and Postrace Aesthetics in Contemporary American Fiction AMERICAN LITERARY HISTORY Saldivar, R. 2011; 23 (3): 574-599

    View details for DOI 10.1093/alh/ajr026

    View details for Web of Science ID 000294819400006

  • Asian Americo: Paredes in Asia and the Borderlands: A Response to Jose E. Limon AMERICAN LITERARY HISTORY Saldivar, R. 2009; 21 (3): 584-594

    View details for DOI 10.1093/alh/ajp023

    View details for Web of Science ID 000269980900006

  • Fictions of the trans-American imaginary - Introduction MODERN FICTION STUDIES Moya, P. M., Saldivar, R. 2003; 49 (1): 1-18
  • Multicultural politics, aesthetics, and the realist theory of identity: A response to Satya Mohanty NEW LITERARY HISTORY Saldivar, R. 2001; 32 (4): 849-854
  • Transnational migrations and border identities: Immigration and postmodern culture SOUTH ATLANTIC QUARTERLY Saldivar, R. 1999; 98 (1-2): 217-230
  • Las fronteras de la cultura. Identidad cultural y producción simbólica Versión:Estudios de Communicación y Política Saldivar, R. 1993: 129-153
  • The Borderlands of Culture: Américo Paredes's George Washington Gómez and Chicano Literature at the End of the Twentieth Century American Literary History Salvidar, R. 1993; 5 (2): 272-293
  • Bordering On Modernity: Américo Paredes's Between Two Worlds and the Imagining of Utopian Social Space Stanford Humanities Review Saldivar, R. 1993; III (1): 54-66
  • Lyrical Borders: Modernity, the Nation and Narratives of Chicano Subject Formation Narrative Saldivar, R. 1993; 1 (1)
  • Américo Paredes, the Border Corrido and Socially Symbolic Chicano Narrative Critical Exchange :The Society for Critical Exchange Saldivar, R. 1987; 11: 11-22
  • IDEOLOGIES OF THE SELF, CHICANO AUTOBIOGRAPHY DIACRITICS-A REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY CRITICISM Saldivar, R. 1985; 15 (3): 25-34
  • Metaphors of Consciousness in Mallarme's Poetry Comparative Literature Saldivar, R. 1984; 36 (1): 54-72
  • METAPHORS OF CONSCIOUSNESS IN MALLARME COMPARATIVE LITERATURE Saldivar, R. 1984; 36 (1): 54-72
  • Korean Love Songs: A Border Ballad and its Heroes Revista Chicano-Riquena Saldivar, R. 1984; 12 (3-4)
  • 'JUDE THE OBSCURE' - READING AND THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW ELH-ENGLISH LITERARY HISTORY Saldivar, R. 1983; 50 (3): 607-625
  • Where the Sun Cuts a Slimmer Shadow: The Fate of Chicano Poetry The Pawn Review Saldivar, R. 1983; 7 (3): 1-8
  • BLOOM METAPHORS AND THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS + 'ULYSSES' BY JOYCE,JAMES JAMES JOYCE QUARTERLY Saldivar, R. 1983; 20 (4): 399-410
  • CHICANO LITERATURE AND IDEOLOGY - PROSPECTUS FOR THE 80S MELUS Saldivar, R. 1981; 8 (2): 35-39
  • TROLLOPE THE 'WARDEN' AND THE FICTION OF REALISM JOURNAL OF NARRATIVE TECHNIQUE Saldivar, R. 1981; 11 (3): 166-183
  • 'DON QUIJOTE' METAPHORS AND THE GRAMMAR OF PROPER LANGUAGE MLN-MODERN LANGUAGE NOTES Saldivar, R. 1980; 95 (2): 252-278
  • Tragedy in the Victorian Novel: Theory and Practice in the Novels of George Eliot, Thomas Hardy and Henry James The Henry James Review Saldivar, R. 1980; 1 (2): 197-198
  • FICTION AND THE WAYS OF KNOWING - FLEISHMAN,A (Book Review) STUDIES IN THE NOVEL Book Review Authored by: Saldivar, R. 1979; 11 (3): 362-364
  • DIALECTIC OF DIFFERENCE - TOWARDS A THEORY OF THE CHICANO NOVEL MELUS Saldivar, R. 1979; 6 (3): 73-92
  • Reading and Systems of Reading Studies in the Novel Saldivar, R. 1979; 11 (4): 472-481
  • 'DEMON OF NOONTIDE ENNUI IN WESTERN LITERATURE' - KUHN,R (Book Review) NINETEENTH-CENTURY FRENCH STUDIES Book Review Authored by: Saldivar, R. 1978; 6 (3-4): 306-310