Wesleyan portrait of Ren  Ellis Neyra

Ren Ellis Neyra

Associate Professor of English

Downey House, 294 High Street, 217

Associate Professor, African American Studies

Coordinator, Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory


BA Freed Hardeman College
PHD SUNY at Stony Brook

Ren Ellis Neyra

Professor Ellis Neyra writes in the fields of Caribbean, African diaspora, and U.S. Latinx studies of aesthetics. Trained in poetics of the Americas and Literary and Critical Theory, Ellis Neyra focuses as a scholar on literature, especially poetic forms and their racialized, social, and political histories, as well as music, cinema, and performance. They are as interested in the possibilities for thought that emerge between aesthetic and literary forms and theory, as they are in zones of critical impossibility--impasses, negativity, and irresolvable ethical quandaries. Ellis Neyra has additional interests in deconstruction, Third Cinema, Cine Imperfecto, ethics of reading, and translation.

Ellis Neyra is the current Coordinator of the Theory Certificate: https://www.wesleyan.edu/theory/about.html , and the liasion to the English Majors Committee in 2021-2022.

Ellis Neyra is the author of The Cry of the Senses: Listening to Latinx and Caribbean Poetics (Duke University Press, 2020). Two new book projects consisting of two different historical archives and distinct critical approaches to sovereignty, individuation, nationalism, and racialization and sexuation are underway: one about the Kardashians and the Bobbitts; the other about unsovereignty and anti-sovereignty in the Caribbean dating (roughly) from the 1700s.

As a writer, Ellis Neyra thinks in the genres (and temporalities) of scholarly essays, as well as art reviews, and poetry. You can read their work in various venues: Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism's online forum, sx salon ; Public BooksRadical History Review's online forum, The Abusable PastARTFORUM; BOMB magazine; Journal of Popular Music Studies; The Cambridge Companion to Queer Studies; ASAP/Journal; Terremoto: Contemporary Art in the Americas; La Gaceta de Cuba; Sargasso: A Journal of Caribbean Literature, Language and CultureHabana Elegante; Obsidian: Literature and Arts in the African Diaspora. Ellis Neyra published their debut book of poetry, Meteor Shower/ Días Sin Shower (2017), and a co-edited, collaborative volume, Caribbean Cautionary Tales (2017), with La Impresora Press, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Office hours: Wednesday, 12-2 PM

Meetings may be scheduled here: https://calendly.com/rellisneyra/office-hours 

Dear Students: Note, *I do not hold drop-in hours* in general, and this Fall 2021, office hours will be held via Zoom. Please schedule and come prepared to discuss topics relevant to course studies, writing assignments, and conceptual questions emergent from course readings.

Students who would like to discuss questions about graduate school and academic planning, please email me at rellisneyra [at] wesleyan.edu to schedule a time-appropriate meeting for these important intellectual matters.

The professor encourages students experiencing medical, psychological, and/or emotional events to use the appropriate resources (i.e., mutual aid, medical expertise, sensorial and spirtual guidance) on campus and in the world for such important, both political and deeply private matters. Please note that the professor is not trained to offer these resources in any professional capacity.


Fall 2021
ENGL 304 - 01
Lyric Poetry and Music

ENGL 350 - 01
Law, "Savage," and Citizen

Spring 2022
CHUM 391 - 01
Unsovereign, Caribbean