Born in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, María Acosta Cruz received a B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in comparative literature from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She is Professor of Spanish at the Dept. of Language, Literature and Culture of Clark University.
Her book, Dream Nation: Puerto Rican Culture & the Fictions of Independence, examines how independence, which failed as a political movement, impacts Puerto Rican culture and the meaning of Puerto Ricanness. It appeared in the Latinidad series from Rutgers University Press and is also part of the American Literatures Initiative from NYU, Fordham, Temple and Virginia University Presses. The series has funding from the Mellon Foundation.
Prof. Acosta Cruz is affiliated with the programs in Latin American & Latino Studies, Comparative Literature, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Race, Gender & Ethnic Studies. Her interests center around Caribbean, Latino and Latin American literature and culture. Areas of inquiry are the making and marketability of identities, Hispanic Caribbean cultures and national and gender-based stereotypes.
Her work in these areas has been published in journals such as Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, Revista Iberoamericana, CENTRO: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hispanófila, and Chasqui: Revista de Literatura Latinoamericana.