Meet the Author:
Marilisa Jiménez García: “Side by Side: US Empire, Puerto Rico, and the Roots of American Youth Literature and Culture”



In Side by Side: US Empire, Puerto Rico, and the Roots of American Youth Literature and Culture, author Marilisa Jiménez García focuses on the contributions of the Puerto Rican community to American youth, approaching Latinx literature as a transnational space that provides a critical lens for examining the lingering consequences of US and Spanish colonialism for US communities of color.

Through analysis of texts typically outside traditional Latinx or literary studies such as young adult literature, textbooks, television programming, comics, music, curriculum, and youth movements, Side by Side represents the only comprehensive study of the contributions of Puerto Ricans to American youth literature and culture, as well as the only comprehensive study into the role of youth literature and culture in Puerto Rican literature and thought.

Considering recent debates over diversity in children’s and young adult literature and media and the strained relationship between Puerto Rico and the US, Jiménez García's timely work encourages us to question who constitutes the expert and to resist the homogenization of Latinxs, as well as other marginalized communities, that has led to the erasure of writers, scholars, and artists.

Author: Marilisa Jiménez García, assistant professor of English and Latino Studies at Lehigh University

Commentator: Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita, School of Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst



Marilisa Jiménez García is an assistant professor of English and Latino Studies at Lehigh University. She is also the founding director and principle investigator at the Institute of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies ( Jiménez García’s research on Latinx literature have appeared in Latino Studies, CENTRO: A Journal of Puerto Rican Studies, The Lion and the Unicorn, and Children’s Literature. Her new book, Side by Side: US Empire, Puerto Rico and the Roots of American Youth Literature and Culture (University Press of Mississippi, March 2021) examines the history of colonialism in Puerto Rico through an analysis of youth literature and culture both in the archipelago and the diaspora. Jiménez Garcia has worked on projects with Teaching for Change, The Children’s Defense Fund, and Sesame Street

Contact: [email protected]


Professor Emerita of Language, Literacy, and Culture, College of Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Sonia Nieto’s research has focused on multicultural education and the education of students of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, with an emphasis on [email protected] students. She has written or edited 13 books and has received dozens of awards for her scholarly work, teaching, activism, and advocacy, including 9 honorary doctorates.
Contact: [email protected]   Webpage:




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