Lucía M. Suárez has written and taught extensively on the literary production of Caribbean Diaspora authors claiming their islands and framing their identities through memory and emotion, within a human rights context. Through her research, writing and teaching, she examines the politics of belonging and exclusion, more specifically the dynamics of social mobility through the arts, literature, literacy, dance and performance. Dr. Suárez focuses on Cuban and Cuban-American identity and memory, cultural production of the Comparative-Caribbean, Latin/x memoirs and the meaning of writing lives, social mobility and cultural survival through Afro-Bahian dance and international performance.
She is the author of The Tears of Hispaniola: Haitian and Dominican Diaspora Memory (Florida University Press, 2006) and co-editor, with Ruth Behar, of The Portable Island: Cubans at Home in the World (Palgrave McMillan, 2008). Her longstanding work in Brazil’s Northeast shapes two projects: the forthcoming publication of Dancing Bahia: Essays on Afro-Brazilian Dance, Education and Memory, an international collaboration with Amélia Conrado and Yvonne Daniel, and her single-author book manuscript in progress, Seeking Survival in Salvador. Suárez’s articles, reviews, and creative writing have appeared in collections and journals that include The Cambridge Companion to Latina/o Literature, Cuban Studies, World Literature Today, Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Transforming Anthropology, Michigan Quarterly Review, Meridians, Journal of Haitian Studies, Callaloo, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Latin American Literary Review, and Macomère.
Dr. Suarez’s ongoing work has received generous support from numerous institutions and foundations, which include the Mellon Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, The Ford Foundation, and a residency at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLS) at Harvard University.
Before her academic career, Dr. Suárez’s life was dedicated to dance performance. She studied at the Neubert Ballet Institute at Carnegie Hall, Alvin Ailey’s, and with the New York City Ballet’s Summer Program in Saratoga Springs. As an academic, part of the joys of her research has included taking dance classes with Grupo Corpo in Belo Horizonte, being a participant observer, in Bahia with Viver Brasil’s summer programs, and even participating in classes with Balé Folklórico da Bahia.
She feels blessed to have a job where she can dedicate herself to teaching, exploring the cultures of the world and the myriad ways by which they are interconnected through language, culture, and the arts.