Berkeley English Graduate Students

Maia Rodriguez

Maia Rodriguez

Professional Statement

As a member of two groups whose lands are currently occupied by the U.S., American Indians and Puerto Ricans, I am committed to the work of decolonization both through my academic service and research. My current research rethinks the convergences of racialization and settler colonialism in the United States by considering together Ethnic and Native American novels published in the wake of the Civil Rights and Power Movements.

Critical Race and Critical Indigenous Studies have understood Native American tribes, who generally seek greater political autonomy through sovereignty, and African Americans, Asian Americans, and other minority groups, who generally seek greater political inclusion through civil rights, to have necessarily opposing and even incongruous objectives to liberation and resistance movements.  I make the case for a new sense of coalitionary potential through its focus on a distinguishing feature of non-native Ethnic American novels during the post-Civil Rights period: the presence of indigenous American characters. By thus analyzing this indigenous presence through the lens of Native American literary theory, I argue that African American, Asian American, and refugee novelists in this historical moment convey misgivings regarding the limitations of civil rights law for achieving enfranchisement and discover an alternative ground of resistance through alliance with American Indians.


Selected Publications and Papers Delivered



Research Presentations


Toward a Narratology of the Medicine Story

Subalternity, Orality, and First Person Plural Narration in Louise Erdrich’s Tracks and Raja Rao’s Kanthapura

Space and Conflict: Mapping Israel-Palestine

“Abominations of Abominations": Border-Crossing after NAFTA in Carlos Fuentes’ La frontera de cristal

”Got Nothing on It”: Land, Nation, and Global Capital in Karen Tei Yamashita's Through the Arc of the Rainforest




"The Competitive Graduate Application"

"The Statement of Purpose Demystified" 

"What is the Ph.D.?"

Narrative Healing: Restoring the World Through Storytelling

For the Ancestors: Decolonizing with Sacred Rapé (hapeh)

Decolonizing Sacred Tobacco 


English Department Classes