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LSU Today Flagship Faculty
What was your previous position and where?I have been at LSU since 2005. Previous to that, I was at the University of Washington, Tacoma and Seattle campuses. My Ph.D. and M.A. are from the University of Pennsylvania in folklore and my B.A. is from the University of California at Berkeley in anthropology. I also recently had a visiting professorship at the Harvard Divinity School from 2009-10.
What brought you to LSU?The English department has two folklore positions that they keep filled. As a folklorist, it was a wonderful opportunity to teach and do scholarship in my field. Louisiana is also a very rich state in terms of folklore and cultural traditions.
What are your research interests?I work on Caribbean and Latino folklore, religion and literature. I am working on an edited book right now about women and Cuban religion that is being published by SUNY press.
What do you hope to accomplish at LSU?I would love to continue to make a difference in students' lives through my teaching, scholarship and service.
What do you enjoy most about LSU?I really enjoy working with my colleagues across different departments. I also really enjoy teaching Women's & Gender Studies courses immensely.
What are your major accomplishments?I have been very fortunate to win several awards and publish much of my work during my career. My most recent accomplishments that I am proud of are winning the Ruth Landes Memorial Research Fund Fellowship - a $40,000 grant - Research in Cuba and at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 2013; and publishing the following two books: "Afro-Cuban Diasporas in the Atlantic World," Series: Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora, Rochester, N.Y.: University of Rochester Press, 2010; and "Yemoja: Gender, Sexuality, and Creativity in Latina/o and Afro-Atlantic Diasporas," co-edited with Toyin Falola, Albany: State University Press of New York (SUNY), in press.