Dr. Keishla (Kay-shla) Rivera-Lopez is a writer, poet, and scholar. She received a PhD in American Studies at the Graduate School-Newark at Rutgers University where she was awarded the 2019-2020 Dean’s Dissertation Fellow to finish her dissertation project titled “Writing Freedom: Puerto Rican Women’s Literary Conceptualizations of Motherhood and Memory Beyond Archives.” She received her B.A. in Latino Hispanic Caribbean Studies and American Studies in 2015 from Rutgers University-New Brunswick where she was a Ronald E. McNair scholar. She was born and raised in Newark, NJ to Puerto Rican migrants and reflects on what it means to be a child of diaspora in her scholarship and writing. Currently, Dr. Rivera-Lopez is an Assistant Professor of English and Latinx Literatures and Cultures at Millersville University.
Her research interests include contemporary U.S. Latinx Studies and literature, Puerto Rican Studies, and Caribbean Diaspora Studies with a focus on gender, race, configurations of the body, the (maternal) body, Afro-Latinidad, communal trauma, identity, coloniality and decolonization. During the 2017-2018 academic year she was a teaching fellow for the Honors Living-Learning Community, a unique college-access program that is redefining what it means to be an honors student and honors college program. She was a 2019 Summer Dissertation Fellow at The Center For Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College where she completed a writing and research residency. During her final semester at The Graduate School-Newark, Dr. Rivera-Lopez was a graduate student mentor in the Mellon-Price Humanities Scholars Program that aimed to assist HLLC undergraduate scholars navigate college.
In her free time Keishla enjoys writing poetry, short-stories, and essays from her travel and everyday experiences as a Puerto Rican woman. She also enjoys experimenting with different sazons and sofritos in the kitchen, hiking, dancing, and traveling.